Three possible configurations to adapt to the needs of children, parents, and grandparents
The multi-generational Full House was created to be reconfigurable and adaptable to the needs of people of every age. Located in Vancouver, Canada, this home comprising two volumes was designed by Leckie Studio Architecture + Design. The architects drew their inspiration from Marcel Duchamp’s 1927 work Door: 11, rue Larrey, which they translated into architecture whose layout can be adapted to the needs of every generation of a family.
Sometimes art is capable of influencing its environment. And sometimes it even has the power to transform into avant-garde architecture. This is the case with Door: 11, rue Larrey, a 1927 creation by Marcel Duchamp, which has served as the inspiration for a multi-generational home for children, parents, grandparents, and more. Designed by Leckie Studio Architecture + Design to respond to a set of social, urban, and financial conditions specific to its location in the city of Vancouver, Full House is a home designed and built to be durable and livable by all members of a family, from youngest to oldest. The heart of the project is a pivoting steel partition that reinterprets Duchamp’s door. By rotating and changing its position, the partition alters the configuration, dimensions, and characteristics of the whole home. There are three possible configurations, each corresponding to a different stage in the life of a family and, therefore, its changing needs.
Besides the main volume, an integral part of Full House is a smaller suite for guests or relatives, which shares the garden with the first. Both benefit from close contact to nature via glazed walls facing courtyards and from the privacy provided by the slatted façade.
The main volume, sliced and stitched to increase natural light, can be reconfigured as needed to create three different scenarios, all with a total of five bedrooms. The first has two discrete dwellings with two and three bedrooms. It’s intended specifically for families with young children who will be welcoming grandparents into the home at a later date. The second scenario also has two discrete living units but with four bedrooms in one and one in the other. This organization of spaces, better suited to families with older children, can then be further modified into a large, multi-generational home with five bedrooms, which can always be returned to the first or second scenarios as needed. The flexibility and fluidity of the spaces, therefore, respond to different caregiving needs but also to people’s need for autonomy. At the same time, the home addresses urban and financial conditions.
A multi-generational home like Full House is an alternative way of countering the high cost of a traditional home, but also offers emotional and learning benefits for its residents. Both children and grandparents, for example, can live together, therefore overcoming issues of isolation and distance. If grandparents can become a source of stories and life lessons for their grandchildren, while helping them develop a sense of respect and caring for others, the children will be constantly stimulated both physically and intellectually. A way to grow while staying young.
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Architects: Leckie Studio Architecture + Design
Principal architect: Michael Leckie
Area: 350 m2
Visualization: LSA+D (RYAN NELSON + JASON HALL)
Design team: JAMES EIDSE, EMILY DOVBNIAK, MILAN NIKIC, ASHLEY HANNON, DIMITRI KOUBATIS, ELAINE TAT
Interior Design: Gaile Guevara
Landscape: Cyan Horticulture
Structural engineer: FAST & EPP
Building Envelope: Spratt Emanuel Engineering
Cea: Capital Home Energy
Arborist: Monkey Tree Services
General Contractor: POWERS CONSTRUCTION
Photography by Ema Peter, courtesy of Leckie Studio Architecture + Design