Community Space
Enlarged Building Section
Daycare Facility


Assisted and Community Care for Older Adults

Fall 2019 | Master of Architecture Thesis Project

Maria Paz De Moura Castro

Student: Ana Christine Turner

Faculty: Maria Paz de Moura Castro

This project is a study of how material and programmatic methods can create an open, safe environment for an assisted-living facility, challenging divisions between urban and building, exterior and interior conditions, and public and private spaces. Central to this design are the residents that Parasol is serving, balancing security and privacy with a highly social environment.

A Generation Growing Older

As technology and healthcare/medicine advance, the average lifespan greatly increases through each generation as well. In the year of 2015, 8.5% of the population of the world was aged 65 or over, which accounts for a total of 617 million people. This number is projected to grow to 12% of the population by 2030. With the rapid growth of an aging population, care in the design of buildings and spaces for those in need of assisted living is becoming more critical year after year, as social isolation constitutes a major risk factor for morbidity and mortality. Parasol is designed to integrate its residents with the rest of the community by promoting social interactions onsite and creating many opportunities to connect with those living within and visiting Parasol.

Designing Social Spaces for Older Adults

Through careful placement of small, single-level ‘blocks’ and by utilizing expanding and contrasting patterns of timber cladding, secure and private spaces were formed without jeopardizing the communal aspect of the project. These ‘block’ patterns are centered around exterior corridors throughout the site, connecting public and private spaces and creating a neighborhood-like feel for its residents. According to research on assisted-living facilities, corridors act as primary social spaces. Through nooks designed within the corridors, residents have the ability to sit and rest while interacting with those walking by, allowing for visual and physical connections throughout the day without compromising a sense of safety.

Parasol is meant as a place that will not only allow its residents to interact and socialize with others, but will offer the community a new amenity to enjoy, challenging the boundary between private and public space, exterior and interior, and older and younger generations. 

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