Minding the Gap
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Increasingly, there is a shift from multigenerational family living to seniors residing in age-specific facilities. Due in part to the relative isolation seniors experience here, there is also a noticeable rate of depression and other psychological struggles among this age group. The loneliness epidemic is not unique to seniors; significantly more people from all ages and backgrounds are facing this problem. This, combined with factors such as rapid technological advancement and increasing diversity, is making it necessary for people to find new ways to connect, specifically with those outside of their immediate circle. The thesis addresses this need by creating spaces that facilitate intergenerational relationships, shown to be an invaluable tool for connecting individuals and communities. Combining senior living, a high school, and a community center in one complex creates an environment that adapts multigenerational spaces from familial households to new typologies. The architecture supports relationships via shared spaces and connections, while allowing for specific typological and user-driven needs. Shared spaces offer various levels of interaction between seniors, students, and community members in educational, recreational, and residential settings, with goals of promoting lifelong, cross-generational learning; improving individuals’ well-being, empathy, and capabilities; and strengthening the community’s social fabric.