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Site: Hong Kong

Grandparenting Center: Connecting the Generations

This building represents a Grandparenting Center, a place with a variety of activities where grandparents or older guardians can take children for the day. One in three older adults in Hong Kong are caretakers for children at least one day a week, and in most cases much longer. This center is a space where grandparents can connect with their grandchildren while also building a community of peers with similar responsibilities and demands.

A chief complaint of older adults caring for children is the physical demands of keeping up with a child. In order to foster positive interactions within the center, this building strives to take the burden off of the bodies of older adults and children by providing manageable circulation as well as places for rest within the building. Circulation consists of ramps, stairs with lower rises and deeper runs, and half-levels or less between spaces. Different types of built-in seating throughout the complex provide spaces to rest, ideally promoting activity in the more flexible spaces of the complex. In promoting both activity and pause within the project, proprioception and light became important considerations.

Intergenerational connections are promoted by taking the different scales of a child and an older adult into consideration and proving areas of level changes. These level changes allow older adults to connect with younger children face-to-face. Two main components that allow for these connections include built-ins and ramping of the floor within a space. The plane of the floor becomes important in creating gradual shifts to allow for the two individuals to connect. Some spaces are oriented towards one-on-one interactions between an adult and child while other areas are designed for community interactions.

The complex itself is broken up into four forms with distinct heights which create a series of terraces that look out towards the street and bay area. Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate where the coldest months see average temperatures in the low 50s and the warmest months see average temperatures in the high 80s. During the hot summer days, large overhangs on the southern side of the building protect the complex from solar heat gain and provide areas of shade on the terraces. Since weather in the spring and fall is quite comfortable, the terraces should be able to be used for the majority of the year.

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Subject Categories

Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning

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© 2019 DeAngelo

Grandparenting Center: Connecting the Generations