A facility for the aged

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Smith, Barry F.
Hermansen, David R.
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Thesis (B. Arch.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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This study is to determine a suitable environment for the elderly through an;-analysis of the physiological and psychological characteristics of aging.Clinical and social research has developed remedial standards of design for the aging, but little has been done to reshape the concept of aging as a source of many of its problems. It can be shown that aging, both physiologically and psychologically, is affected by an individual's relationship to his environment throughout his life. Criteria for environmental design, however, usually emphasize the "productive years." The concept of design to meet the needs of a life span is rarely considered.The thesis of-this project is that a human being's interaction with the environment is neg-entropic, i.e. by interacting with his environment a person has a tendency to maintain or increase his capacity for interaction, and that to best maintain his capacity, a person's level of interaction must be determined by his physiology rather than by external or "artificial" influences.With this in mind, this project provides congregate housing which is an integral part of the community. The community is contained within a one half mile radius which is generally free of vehicular traffic, raking all areas easily accessible to pedestrian traffic. The elderly share community facilities such as a community center, park, churches, library, post office, and shopping with the remainder of the community.The living malts are clustered so the residents have the opportunity for mtdal support. Each of the clusters open directly onto an exterior court. They are also linked on the lower level to a community pedestrian corridor. This corridor is a commercial and community services spine for the entire neighborhood. An inter-city jitney system paralleling this spine gives them access to the entire metropolitan area. The elderly have a degree of privacy without isolation.