Housing For The Future - Intergenerational Living
Successful intergenerational living needs to resolve the tension between residents’ need for privacy and the advantages of living together. Our winning competition entry, which takes cues from traditional multigenerational living in Transylvania and back-to-back houses in the Midlands, addresses this tension right from the title: Two Front Doors. It proposes that two units which maintain their autonomy and identity are linked through space they can share, an outdoor terrace and an extra room in between. This room can be used in common as a study, guest bedroom or playroom but can also be part of one of the apartments, according to the specific needs of the residents at different points in their life.
This simple spatial proposition does not stand on its own. At the larger scale of the hypothetical high-density scheme, we looked at how the linked units can come together to facilitate inclusivity and community building. Stacking vertically, the units are stepped back, decreasing in size with the height and forming tiered terraces. This results in a colonnade towards the conventional street on one side and a human scale community broadway to the other. The latter is lined at ground-floor level with community facilities, shops, workspaces for local businesses and event spaces. Between these units, communal courtyards and private gardens add pockets of space to the public broadway, which can open and close. This rhythm of different spaces shared in different ways by different people will create, we believe, a vibrant community life. We also proposed a community task force, run by residents for residents which would be responsible for maintenance and jobs within the development, and we discussed how this might be able to offset rent of maintenance fees for the individuals.