Housing — Affordable, Modular, Collective: Elder Well

SVA ID: BE DES Studio I – Fall 2022, Housing — Affordable, Modular, Collective: Elder Well

Concept Statement

The “Elder-Well ” Apartment allows neighborhood elders a space to grow old with dignity, by offering personal and shared spaces holistically designed for aging in a community of diverse ages and abilities.

User Profile

Divorced, widowed, or single seniors who need a place to live in their old age, whether they are physically able to take care of themselves or not.

Single Elderly/
People with Disabilities


A senior’s day starts with waking up, having breakfast, and getting ready to go to the health center on the fourth floor of the building to have their blood pressure measured, or they can go to the second-floor terrace for sunbathing and exercise. In the afternoon, they go home for dinner, recreation, washing up, and bedtime. They may get up earlier than they used to, they may spend less time out more at home for fun, they may get up and go for an early practice first, or they may entertain friends at home on weekends or go out for long periods of time.



The paintings of Canadian painter Janna Watson inspired the design. The natural, relaxed, and comfortable feeling expressed in the painting is applied to the design. The layout of the house is basically the same as the painting, with the central part of the house being the core part that takes up the main daily part of the elderly, and the wide vertical part on the right side of the painting is transformed into a wide activity area on the left side of the house that connects to the balcony.

Bubble Diagram

Seniors go to the bathroom more often than the average person at night so I placed the sleeping area closer to the personal care area.

The elderly spend most of their daily life sleeping and entertaining, so I connect the sleeping area and entertaining area with the eating area, and the sleeping area will also be transformed into an entertaining area when there is a need to connect with the eating area to form a large entertainment area.



Journey Diagram

The elderly’s daily routine starts with waking up and following the diagram of life mentioned above. The only difference between daily and weekend life is that seniors may choose to stay at home completely, so there is no need to use the getting ready area and go out.


Due to the reduced height of the elderly, bending and reaching became somewhat difficult. So all countertops are lowered to 34 “H and the shortest closet is 4’H and equipped with an electronic button that automatically slides out of the closet. This height is also suitable for people who use wheelchairs. The height of the highest cabinets is 7′, and the building will provide a nursing home and assistants to help pick up objects if needed.

Material Board

Transformable Furniture

The bed can be pushed and pulled, and there is a layer of cabinets under the bed for storing sofa cushions and other items. When sleeping, the bed can be pulled outward, and when guests visit the bed can be transformed into a comfortable sofa at any time. The bed is Full size, the elderly will be more difficult to turn over, so it is less likely to turn over frequently when sleeping. So even if the bed is not pulled out of the body bed is enough for the elderly to have a comfortable sleep. Above the bed is a push-pull table, which can be pulled out when needed. Above the table is a storage cabinet. A light strip is set up under the storage cabinet for easy lighting, night reading, and for the elderly to get up at night.

The storage cabinet on the other side of the room is equipped with a shelf above, placing miscellaneous items while becoming an “invisible handrail”. The door panel at the window end of the lower cabinet can be pulled up to become a dining table, and the stools will be stored in the cabinet behind this panel.

Reflected Ceiling Plan


Interior Rendering of The elderly laying on the bed reading
Interior Rendering of The elderly laying on the sofa watching TV
Interior Rendering of The afternoon at the entrance
Interior Rendering of The view looking outside
Interior Rendering of Bathroom
Interior Rendering of Bathroom