Kate Gallery at the Sustainable Cities Collective wonders how where you live adapts to different phases in life, whether one can stay in the same place, the same neighbourhood when you are young or old.
One way to know for certain is to look to Europe, where people often think of the phase when they have children at home as being only a relatively short phase of their lives, while their apartment in the Marais in Paris or in Rome is eternal. So they adapt, like this family in Turin did, with the help of Point Architecture.
Does the place you call home appeal to you as you envision yourself in various stages of life? Is it big enough to grow into once you leave behind one phase and enter the next?....Some say it can’t be done: that there is no way our cities can accommodate our future selves. But how can we know for certain?
Since the family had increased in number after the first renovation of the house the challenge of the project has been to make the most of the available space. The project aims to bring up the family to a multifunctional use of the spaces, without conventional limits. That's why we decide to give the existing big living room space a multiple function, being at the same time the owner's bedroom, the living and dining space and the relax area and to to dedicate the only existing room to the newborns.
Instead of the more common loft bed with space under, putting the bed in a drawer creates a zone above that is only a few steps up, instead of climbing a ladder to a loft. Unlike a Murphy bed that tilts up, you don't need to make the bed or strap in the mattress, you just roll it away. More at Point Architecture, found at Contemporist.
In 2009 Apartment Therapy showed a 431 square foot apartment in France, that accommodated a family of four and a dog, and commenters were appalled, writing:
I do find this unbelievable - I feel sorry for the children since they barely have anywhere to play and weather is not always willing for them to be outside. In the US, the children would be taken.
I liked this comment from a Hong Kong reader on my post about it:
Growing up in Hong Kong, I have always have to share my 90 SF room with my brother and my grandmother. And we had the largest apartment among my friends! (The piano was in my room too!)
The thing about American children is that they have large indoor and garden spaces, but they are imprisoned in the suburb because they can't drive. I've always free sorry for American teens.
In cities of other countries, the rooms might be small but children can take a stroll on the streets as they like. These free-range children can walk to their schools, playground or their friends' place by themselves since age 10. I just can't imagine my life in secondary school (grade 7-13) if I had to wait for a ride all the time!!! That's too cruel!
I guess the argument here is because of the difference on how much time people spend in their rooms, and the enormous clutter problem that is uniquely American.