With Americans living longer, there’s growing interest in the concept of aging in place—that is, staying in our own homes for as long as possible. Fortunately, we can look to the senior housing industry, which has built hundreds of retirement communities across the country, for ways to design single-family homes to accomplish this goal. This week, the American Association for Homes and Services for the Aging met in Los Angeles and showcased many new and exciting products in its 2010 Idea House. Though geared primarily for large campuses such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, most of the features on display could be adapted for use in private homes. The Idea House—designed by associate Eric Krull, interior designer Melinda Avila-Torio and landscape architect Jake Friend, all of THW Design in Atlanta—brought together a cross-section of the latest in technology, furnishings, fabrics, finishes and outdoor amenities aimed at improving the quality of senior life. Here’s a look at some of the best innovations.
A. Quincy Jones was a mid-century modernist whose architecture knew no bounds. He designed custom homes for the rich and famous, affordable tract houses, churches, restaurants, libraries, laboratories, university campuses, a factory and an embassy. He also taught, extending his considerable influence to a generation of younger designers. After languishing on the market since 2008, Jones’ Los Angeles home was purchased by the Annenberg Foundation earlier this year, ensuring that it will be preserved. When work is completed at the end of the summer, “the Barn” – as the structure is known – will serve as headquarters of the Chora Council, which is part of the Metabolic Studio, a multi-disciplinary Annenberg project devoted to the study of culture, sustainability and health. AIA award-winning architect Frederick Fisher, who has occupied Jones’ nearby business offices since 1995 and refreshed other Jones projects, is overseeing the restoration with contractor George Minardos. Here, Fisher tells us about saving the residential landmark.
Law professor Carole Goldberg and sociology professor Duane Champagne both teach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Both have a love of books and cooking, and since marrying in 2003, they now share six kids and eight grandchildren as well. To design the couple’s green, familycentric beach getaway in Oxnard, California, architectural designer Daniel Garness—–who has offices in Los Angeles and New Orleans—–had a lot more to consider than how high to make the twin sinks. Goldberg tells us why the couple’s home is very nearly its castle.
After architectural designers Louis Molina and Laurent Turin of Good Idea Studio revamped a tiny, dilapidated 1923 clapboard house in 2004, they moved their Los Angeles office into the ground level and have taken turns occupying the 578-square-foot living quarters upstairs. While Turin is supervising the firm’s office in his native Switzerland, Molina, who also teaches at the Woodbury University School of Architecture in Burbank, gives us the tour of their diminutive-by-design Echo Park remodel.