Society and Ecology. Living Generations

The European-wide, open, two-stage pilot competition for future-oriented architectures of living focuses on social reality with its differentiated lifestyles. The submitted projects are supposed to inspire a new paradigm in an “extended living programme” through “scenarios of everyday life”.

Purpose: A new interpretation of living in relation to the ”extended living programme”. A futureorientated model project that sets new impulses regarding the aspects of settlement policy, utilization programme and ecology.

It is the aim to develop an urban structure that explicitly refers to the various household forms, life cycles and differentiated demands to societal everyday life and presents an exemplary impulse to urban aggregation and enhancement with this programmatic approach in this specific urban context.

Purpose of the 2-stage Competition is an model for the future project which develops in an
innovative way an “extended living programme“(flat-sharing communities including assistable living, family and single units, living/working, etc.), office and commercial surfaces as well as further facilities (i.e. public facilities, catering, wellness) at the central plot of the competition with approximately 6,300 m2 in Gleisdorf.

Special attention is paid to the quality of the informal and open use communication zones in order to achieve social proximity, while at the same time maintaining the potential of an urban lifestyle. Complementary to this, innovative ecological concepts are to be developed, being able to support the societal aspects mentioned above and to minimise disadvantageous environmental consequences in the frame of a comprehensive consideration.

Following a 2 stage procedure the highly qualified jury selects the project that responds best to the demanded re-interpretation of the „EXTENDED LIVING PROGRAMME“, respecting specifically actual societal parameters and ecological innovation. As well, seen from the economic perspective, the affordability of living for different needs has to be considered.

Special provisions and activities in the Supporting Programme of the Pilot Competition
The pilot competition’s first aim is to achieve stimulation in terms of specific contents and
instruments/tools (ecology-innovation, usability of community surfaces). Second, an additional Supporting Programme with public events and discussion forums (conference of experts on the theme +of ecology, “housing pilots” a new participation model and an international conference “Living Laboratory” which brings together the newest researches is provided)

Excursus: Concept of the “extended living programme”

I. Diverse living of generations in dialogue
How can future-oriented housing architecture ensure that the current range of different
ways of living and requirements i.e. various types of households like old folks’ communities,
family units, single persons, one parent households, people with special needs (temporarily
or permanent) will be fully guaranteed?

“Living Generations” responds to the question of the multi-generational aspect with all its consequent requirements and possibilities. On the one hand, different “features” in everyday life like care problems, social isolation, home employment, have not yet been adequately or sufficiently taken into consideration by the existing housing situation. On the other hand, the specific social aptitudes inherent to different generations could lead to the establishment of neighbourhood models, thus offering social links whilst supporting urban lifestyles.

This could especially refer to the special requirements within the extended model “assistable
living”, a proposed model that operates outside of existing institutions, because not only do
children need to be looked after, but also senior citizens and disabled people of all ages require care. Individualized “services” could make use of the “difference” in availabilities, requirements and wishes, which could in turn lead to a novel fusion of quite different life modi. On the basis of specific agreements (e.g. temporary care services) an informal neighbourhood relationship could turn out to be a challenge and a new chance for relationships within the neighbourhood.

II. Mixing of extended living programmes / a complex of working, active and passive leisure, individualised services

In which spatial organisation structures can an “extended living programme”, in which
public and private life confront each other and which concerns every generation is equally,
be put into practice?

The idea that different generations have specific social aptitudes must at the same time be
confronted with the trans-generational, “ageless” notion of different forms of living. For an “extended living programme” includes activities which concern in fact all the generations, such as a wide range of passive and active leisure activities as well as different types of work or activity (i.e. hobbies).

Resulting questions
With reference to both of the aforementioned items of the “extended living programme” the
question now arises, whether the mixture of trans-generational activities on the one hand (II.), and the intermingling of the generation-related aspects (I., e.g. excess of time versus lack of time) on the other hand, demand a re-development of organisation and structures of spaces and rooms, especially with regard to specific logics and interests in the occupation of these spaces or rooms, that are bound to different structures regarding the duration of time: a very brief moment, temporary duration, periodic or permanent durations.

This multiple-usage idea should be borne in mind when considering proportions of the architectural construction with all its accommodation units, communal areas and facilities, its private and communal open areas as well as its interfaces between public areas (for example, the view from the housing units and thus the contact to public areas …).

A spatial concept is to be presented showing how the development of communal spaces and the treatment of interfaces in relation to private housing areas, can solve the demands of societal requirements and encounter potential elements of a “generation crossover” in an innovative way.

Following issues are of special interest for the implementation of the “extended living

– extension of circulation zones and mutual common spaces as informal communication zones
– the “attractive” variety of uses or specificity common spaces (multi-purpose utilization)
– the variability of the transition between private, common, and public zones
– the range of housing units available: quality, variability, distinctive features, adaptability, subsequent use, free choice of use
– the housing unit and its “outside” I: the situational extension of flats as optional communication
– the housing unit and its “outside” II: concept of the private open spaces


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