During the recession of 2008-2012 there was a reduction in the number of households. That led to a pull-back in housing demand, but it also caused me to ponder the idea of multiple generations living in the same house. This is not a new concept, because many families do this from time to time especially when members are in transition.
In other parts of the world, people live with extended families and in much closer quarters than what we do now. Households are expanding again, millennials are moving out of the proverbial basement. However, what if, due to housing cost, this becomes a more permanent condition here in the United States?
This is possibly true in the Austin area. Housing costs are rising fast. Unfathomably fast. And my clients are tearing down small homes in Central Austin and building new state of the art homes with flats above the garage, secondary dwellings facing side streets or alleys, and the mother-in-law suite has been a thing for years.
As a design exercise I developed the plans seen here, intended to fit on standard lots and designed for shared living. They feature three fully independent suites, with separate entrances, kitchenettes and full baths as well as a shared living space. The thought concept for me was to respect the privacy of three separate households while making the layout also function as a traditional house. I feel pretty happy about the results!
Now if only we could get the zoning regulations and neighborhood restrictions to agree! I love density and feel that is going to be important in making better use of our infrastructure while making housing affordable.
More to come soon. If you want to get in touch please let me know! Thanks for reading!