This opinion piece was first published in April 2009 in the Journal of Care Services Management, and is available free of charge for a 6-month period by kind permission of Maney Publishing (http://www.maney.co.uk/journals/csm_ (opens new window)). It argues that buildings designed for people with dementia have often been more successful in addressing problems than reflecting aspirations for optimum care and quality of life. Barriers to people engaging in enjoyable activity can be 'built in' to new buildings. Extra Care housing developments present opportunities for reassessing design objectives. design strategies aimed specifically at supporting activities that people enjoy in these settings are suggested.