Full House is an innovative multi-generational housing typology developed in the City of Vancouver. While this project is a contextual response to the economic, social, and urban conditions of this specific place, Canada is bearing witness to skyrocketing real estate prices across our major urban centers and a general increase in the numbers of adult children living with their parents. In a city where the average price for a detached house is now over $1,800,000, multi-generational living is the only viable option for homeownership for many families.
Regardless of whether the situation is a result of choice or financial necessity, the benefits of multi-generational living are becoming widely recognized: financial support, mutual benefits for young and old through childcare, decreased physical and emotional isolation for ageing grandparents, as well as emotional bonding and closeness across generations. The benefits to grandchildren includes empathy, care for elders, as well as important social role-modelling.
Full House is conceived as a 5 bedroom home with a 1 bedroom laneway house. The essence of the project is the main floor pivot door – inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s Door: 11, rue Larrey (1927) – a door that is hinged between 2 possible frames, thus modulating adjacent spaces. In this project, the device is a similar pivoting steel plate partition that can occupy three possible positions, and in each position alters the architectural programming of the suites in the house.
The life of the main house is understood as existing at any point in time through 3 basic scenarios, facilitated by the operation of the Duchamp Door:
- Scenario A / Two discrete dwelling units: 3 bedroom suite + 2 bedroom suite
- Scenario B / Two discrete dwelling units: 4 bedroom suite + 1 bedroom suite
- Scenario C / One large multi-generational home: 5 bedroom suite