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Multi-Generational Families by cyu14

In previous decades, an individualist mindset and affordable housing in the United States slowed the once traditional progression of parent-child to child-parent living arrangements. Second and third generation families were not returning to the family home.  A common outcome: elderly parents selling their home to live out their lives in planned communities for the aging or assisted living. The current economic slowdown, longer life spans and changing cultural values are now causing families to re-adjust their living situations. The frequency of multi-generational households is on the rise and Grandma and Grandpa are now competing with their teenage grandchildren for control of the remote.

Families are now looking for ways to either modify or build a home to satisfy the needs of young children along with those of aging parents, accessibility and privacy are resulting concerns. Developer Jim Greenup, of Spokane, Washington, comments on the resulting frustration of current housing types for multi-generational families. “Twenty to 25 percent of families in America are caring for an aging relative, and duplexes aren’t designed right for the concept of joined housing. There are problems, because the bathrooms don’t work right for aging in place, and the stairways and other circulators do not function well.”

Multi-Generational House, Kyoto, 3-- Lab

 In Kyoto, Japan an interesting multi-generational solution has been designed by Hiroe Yoshida and Tomoki Odani of 3 – – lab.  An office space for a young couple and a home for their aging parents is melded into a 259 square foot duplex.  View slideshow.

September 1, 2008, 8:25 pm
Filed under: precedents | Tags:

The american family has changed a lot throughout the years. Even within the family the dynamic changes. The family begins at marriage of course. These days people are getting married at various ages. Some get married very young, before late 20s and they wait off on having children for quite a bit of time. Other couples, do not get married until they are ready for children. Either way, children are  a part of the equation. In my research I found that couples get married younger and wait off on having children. I have come up with 5 phases of the american family’s life. The first one is newly married. This is where the couple establishes a place for themselves whether it be with one another or in the working world. After about 5 to 10 years, children become the topic of many conversations and become more realistic. Also the arrival of children into the family changes the home because everyone has to make changes to their lives. The spaces change to be more playful and less formal. More bedrooms are needed of course as well. After the children become closer or into the teen years the space once again changes. Privacy is a bigger and more demanding entity of the home. Teens always want to be left alone so that they feel independent, which in turn a separation of private and semi private and public spaces must be defined with the home. After teen years and the children move out of the house and become independent the space returns to its earlier years in sense. The children’s rooms could be converted to an office or gym or just a room that the parents would enjoy, similar to their interests before the children arrived, or maybe even a new interest. There are instances where the home returns to those days of past to accommodate the children, who aren’t really children anymore so really, the home just turns to accommodate more. Also various systems in the house must change in order to suit the elderly or other things in life that change with time and age. So in conclusion, my research has made me decide that there are a few things that have to change in the home to suit the ever changing family. Privacy is among the biggest changes that needs to happen. The levels of needed privacy change with the age of the family. The different activities and the needs of those also change with the age of the family. Everything is different for every individual family but for the most part there are always high points and lower points in the family as it grows with time.