Experts say elderly more likely to connect to the likes of younger generation
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/27/2012 -- Senior housing designed with the grandparents in mind are now a thing of the past. Today, architects are looking at the wants of the younger residence. When one thinks young and senior housing, one likely is not thinking of 20-somethings; yet, that is exactly the age-group that designers are looking to for inspiration.
Designers are finding that in order to keep a competitive edge among their residence ages 60s-80s, senior housing of all types must appeal to more than simply the older generation.
“There’s a blurring of the lines,” says Rocky Berg, Principal and director of business development for senior living at Three Architecture. “I am seeing a greater attraction to creating less islands of retirement. I think of them more as inclusive senior living environments where we are purposely blurring the lines with mixed use and multi-generational living opportunities.”
The designers take inspiration from both senior housing as well as hospitality, boutique hotels, and more modern homes. Berg notes current a current project in San Antonio, Texas where a former brewery is be turned into a hotel.
“There’s a lot of residential with mixed use. Bringing a senior living community into that mix is a very attractive idea as a multi-generational opportunity,” he says. “I think that’s what’s going to attract the boomers. They want to be in the mix and they want to be cool. It’s that idea of ‘cool’ in senior living.”
This could mean designing spaces for a younger demographic in mind.
“It’s amazing how many apartments are designed for Gen-Y and how many people in the 55-plus group move into those communities,” says Manny Gonzalez, principal at KTGY. “[We did one] 500-unit apt complex and 10% are over 55. they are looking for the same lifestyle as the younger group.”
“We are trying to rethink the typecasting and the preconceived notions we have had for years about what this generation of residents and renters is going to want,” Gonzalez says.
Entertainment areas, spaces for storage, expansive kitchens, and even garages are emphasized.
“The garage is something you’ve never seen anywhere [in this kind of lifestyle],” Gonzalez says. “We designed a garage space with a rollup door and a dart board. It’s more of a hangout. The community is finding they can go to Home Depot or Lowe’s for DIY classes and teach people to do things in the garage space. It serves a practical purpose, but it’s not something you see every day. It is the challenge, but also part of the fun.”
The bar for success gets hire as 60-somethings and 70-somethings relate back to their grandchildren rather than their parents and grandparents, Gonzalez notes.
“I don’t want to live in the building I moved my grandmother into. So you are seeing contemporary design. Think of the W hotel. It’s a really cool contemporary building, not a stuffy building with doilies and floral patterns. People want to move to apartment and want it to have cool feel.”
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