This is a follow up post to my first design on multi-generational housing. Unlike the previous design, this plan offers connected living for the two generations in a linear plan. This design features several new products and technologies that I thought might be practical in a multiple generation residence. Compared to the previous design, this design places the entrance at the front of the house rather than on the side. Again there are 2 units, a larger 3 bedroom 2.5 bath house and a smaller 1 bedroom 1 bath elderly apartment. The two units end to end span about 98 feet. The key feature in this house is the shared party wall that acts like a pocket door. The wall also acts as the anchor point for both apartments’ dining room tables. I designed the moving partition to open up the two apartments for special occasions when more room is needed such as the entire family sharing Sunday dinner. In those scenarios, the party wall is pushed into its recess, and the two ends of the dining tables are slid together to form a large dining table supported by two legs on each side. When the wall is closed the apartments still maintain an open connected through a glass enclosed U-shaped hall which features a living wall at its center. The living wall serves two functions; one it creates a visual separation between the shared outdoor patio space, so each apartment can have their own private outdoor area, as well as acting as a indoor air purifier, removing any unpleasant odors that may waft from one unit to the other. Depending on the plants chosen, it could also act as a shared indoor vegetable garden for both units.
Another novel idea is bringing furniture from the office into the home to allow for a dedicated computer/study area in the house. I located this space in the kitchen so it could also double as another office separate from the dedicated study. I elected to use Steelcase’s Flow line, the new office furniture designed to create dedicated private work spaces for introverted office workers, who work best without distractions from others. This space could optionally be replaced by a large pantry or an elevator if desired.
In the 1 bedroom apartment, I made many of the same design choices as in the previous design, implementing the handicapped bathroom and the perimeter grab bar that encircles the apartment. However, this apartment is a tad less accessible as it does have a stairs into a sunken living room and a staircase that leads to the basement/shared garage. One the plus side, you get a double sided fireplace (living room/foyer) and a great library/lounge area with its own walk out bay window seat.
Even though both units are connected, there is still very much an element of privacy retained in this plan that gives all parties their needed independence and personal space.