Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

A lifetime home: an intergenerational accessible social housing model

Mariela Gaete-Reyes, PhD; Paulina Osorio Parraguez, PhD; Gabriel Felmer Plominsky, PhD; Javiera Acevedo López, MSc, Paul Honeyman Toro, BArch

Competition Sponsor: National Agency for Research and Development of Chile

Older people from lower-income backgrounds in Chile frequently live in social housing. Usually, inadequate housing conditions hinder their mobility and activities of daily living, affecting autonomy. This situation often forces them to make the decision to leave their homes. In response to this, we seek to create an intergenerational accessible social housing model, which is adaptable to the changes that people experience throughout the aging process. This model will be based on the findings of two previous studies, in which a set of access recommendations (that go far beyond the access requirements of current Chilean building regulations) were developed. We will devise an innovative adaptable modular housing design with an off-site construction method that allows for the number of domestic spaces to increase and decrease in an easy, cost efficient and speedy manner, allowing spatial transformation according to intergenerational needs. Moreover, our design includes ultrasonic technology in accessible features for people with visual and hearing impairments. Crucial aspects in the development of the proposal are the capabilities of the interdisciplinary research team (which have been proven in former studies), and the possibility to design, assemble and test the concept in a 1:1 scale prototype of the proposed housing model.

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