Adrian Streich-Kraftwerk2/Christopher Art Haerle-Common House 50/Duplex architects AG-mehr als Wohnen
Various community cooperatives
Usable floor area:
In what ways does this project encourage inter-generational living?
There are two main topics that are the center of each of these projects: creating a sense of community and group living. As you can see from the selection of bedroom choices, one can decide to live alone or amongst a group of individuals. A shared community kitchen is common among all of them, as well as a balcony or stair area that becomes a meeting place. Common House 50 allows for older residents, of any age, to live among one another with little to no assistance. Each room is equipped with sitting area and balcony to entertain as one desires. The same is true for mehr als Wohnen.
How does this project demonstrate Universal Design or Barrier-Free living?
All projects display an assortment of housing options. However, these options are not free to alter as one pleases. Common House 50 offers the most space in each unit that could be arranged to the liking of the inhabitant, it is also the only building equipped to adapt spatially as needed over time. Rooms can be expanded or minimized based on personal desire or medical need.
What other amenities does the project feature that cater to the residents?
Indoor: All of the projects were developed in response to a need for low-income housing. Common House 50 offers its residents a live-in caregiver, and also has a room for guests to stay overnight if desired. The small floor plan actually offers more in this project.
Outdoor: Proximity to other businesses and public transit, affordable, community gardens, solar panels.
How does the layout of the building enhance the users experience?
Common House 50 is a great place for elderly individuals to live on their own, with minimal needed assistance. Having the comfort of a caregiver just a few feet away is very reassuring to most need conscience individuals. mehr als Wohnen gives each resident a fantastic view from each of their personal rooms, but the rooms are small compared to the large open floor plans designed in the community spaces. The design of these spaces make you want to be in this social space, rather than your own personal room. mehr als Wohnen allows for residents to have minimal living space as well, but all necessary living amenities are located outside the individual apartments. The dining, kitchen, and bathing areas are located in the common areas only, to increase the amount of interaction between residents.
How does the site enhance the project?
Common House 50 has a flat, well landscaped site, surrounded by a city of housing complexes and a large stadium to the east. mehr als Wohnen is one prospective building in a complex of other buildings, which places it inside of its own neighborhood of sorts. This increases the sense of community, as there is little to no need to venture from the neighborhood to purchase the necessities of life.
What sustainable measures does this project employ?
Common House 50 is constructed of reclaimed wood for the exterior façade.
What public amenities are within the surrounding context of the project?
mehr als Wohnen is placed inside a living community. It provides the image of a dense urban fabric; made up of shops, restaurants, work offices, studios. It becomes a city within a city. Common House 50 is not in any specific context that contributes to its inter-generationality.
Describe the interior, exterior, vertical and horizontal circulation
mehr als Wohnen has a generous amount of space devoted to navigation of the community space. What this circulation lacks is a continuous path that does not end with a door, window or wall. The exterior circulation creates access to green lawns throughout the project site, which expose a sense of nature to the project. Walking paths throughout the site are used for navigation to adjacent buildings and surrounding amenities. The two units are separated by the vertical circulation, which appears to be an open stair within an atrium. Besides the interior circulation of the units, there is no significant horizontal circulation. Common House 50 has a common area on each floor in order for people to move inside. The units are all on the exterior of the building, making the interior circulation and connection the center of the project. The site itself is oriented directly onto the street; there are no significant examples of exterior circulation. The only vertical circulation is a normative stair and elevator shaft directly adjacent to the front door of the building. There are balconies on each floor, which are not really used for horizontal circulation, but more so are personal extensions of each apartment, that have the ability to be experienced as horizontal circulation between differing units.
How do existing and created outdoor spaces enhance the design concept of the project?
mehr als Wohnen is the best example of outdoor spaces used within the design. The entire site that the building is placed on frames green spaces throughout the grounds. The building is oriented to provide each unit and apartment with a view of a green space on the site. The common areas also have a view of these spaces. Common House 50 has a patio and manicured lawns and hedges, however because it is used primarily for an aging tenant with possible limited mobility, there is less concentration on significant green space.
What are the principal materials, assemblies, and structural system?
Common House 50 was constructed with a concrete core and floors, and a recycled wooden façade. mehr als Wohnen has yet to be built, however from rendered images one gets the impression of concrete as the main structural element and design material.
Describe the entry approach to the building.
Approaching Common House 50 would be no different from walking past any other apartment complex in the world, perhaps except for its unique design. It sits directly off the street, in what appears to be a residential neighborhood. The main door to the complex is also parallel to this street. mehr als Wohnen is parallel to a small avenue that branches off a main road north of the site. In order to gain access to the site, you either have to navigate through a small number of trees from the south or sporadic buildings to the north, east, and west. The main entry door is on the east side, making access private from the main road.
AG, A. S. (2013). Kraftwerk2. Retrieved 09 2013, from adrianstreich.ch: http://www.adrianstreich.ch/index.php?id=168&tx_astportfolio2_pi1[showUid]=119
DUPLEX architects AG More than Housing. (2013). Retrieved 09 2014, from World Architects: http://www.world-architects.com/en/duplex-architekten/projects-3/mehr_als_wohnen-38143
Sabina, C. H. (2000). Retrieved 09 2013, from WG 50 + Winterthur: http://www.haerlehubacher.ch/architektur/bauten/1r7_wg50_kanzlei/index.html