Home with wrap-around ramp: Will it work?

rear view of the all white home at twilight. It shows the ramp coming up from ground level on one side wrapping around the back and up to the first floor on the third side.A couple in their 50s told their architects they wanted a home for four generations. The home needed to accommodate themselves, their daughter and her husband and child, and three older relatives. Focusing on the older generation, the architects made a major feature of a ramp that wraps around the house from the ground to first floor. Other floors are accessed by stairs. But was this design about functionality or creativity? Why a wrap-around ramp and not a lift that could have served all floors? And what about the accessibility of internal spaces? Perhaps there was a reason for not solving the access issues with a home lift. 

Front view of the three storey home taken at twilight.The wrap-around ramp for family members who use a wheelchair seems like a good idea until you see how long it is. A powered wheelchair could manage the ramp, but most people use a manual wheelchair indoors. Imagine pushing someone in a wheelchair on this ramp which looks quite steep.

The home is featured on the Dezeen website with photographs to show the position of the ramp and the rationale behind it. The photographs here are taken from the Dezeen article. Note that the home is in Nansong, China so there could be regulations preventing other design options. There are links to other designs for multigenerational living.

A lift would serve all family members across their lifespan and would be more useable than a ramp. It is not clear why this option was not chosen. Any member of the family can find themselves permanently or temporarily disabled at any time. So focusing on the currently disabled person produces a specialised design instead of one designed inclusively.

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