Designing multigenerational dwelling:

A workshop with four Flemish architecture firms.

This research paper outlines a new perspective of designing – considering social factors before design factors.

Abstract:  Due to social shifts, demographic changes and spatial challenges, housing is at the top of the social agenda in Flanders. Recently, communal housing concepts are put forward to strive against these general developments. This paper presents research on multigenerational dwelling, as one possible renewed communal housing concept for Flanders. The authors develop a working definition for multigenerational dwelling, which lays the foundation for the main part of the paper: the translation of a theoretical framework into an architectural design. Methodologically the authors use design to experiment with this new housing concept in a specific, but realistic setting. More specifically, they organize a workshop with four Flemish architecture firms to investigate different modes of sharing space within a multigenerational dwelling. Furthermore they formulate key considerations for further research and the implementation of this renewed way of dwelling in Flanders.