Created at The Bartlett

Neverland presents a new typology of retirement home, exploring the possibilities of retaining youthfulness in old age through both a playful and practical architecture. The retirement community is based on a floating island that would sail around the surreal landscape of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Taking reference from the concept of cruising on ships, Neverland aims to manifests this idea to create an everlasting cruise that docks between different jetties around the lake that house different events and activities. Indeed the architecture draws inspiration from that of holiday-making and seaside towns to create a permanent state of happiness and relaxation.

It is a utopian lifestyle for a geriatric population, whereby the inhabitants would start a new life, leaving behind their previous residence in search of a brighter retirement. The project also explores the extent to which utopian societies can exist, with Neverland being supported by a service layer underbelly. There is a clear divide between the paradisal world that exists above ground and the back-of-house who work to keep it ticking below ground. Neverland has been particularly interesting to me, as a twenty-one year old, my vision of old age exists almost through rose-tinted spectacles. Neverland is therefore deliberately naive in its interpretation of old age, creating an architecture and a lifestyle that is hyperbolic in positivity and fun.

The idea for Neverland was conceived on a research trip across the American landscape, observing the idiosyncrasies of American life. From the religious Mormon communities of Utah to the hyperreal environments of Las Vegas, I became fascinated by the different guises of old age and the conditions by which people grow older. I therefore focussed my project on creating an innovative architectural solution to the ageing population of the United States. I aimed to design a unique architecture that could fabricate a feeling of optimism and joy when housing a geriatric population. For its theme of youthfulness in old age, I called it Neverland.