The number of people living alone has risen sharply and there is a trend of the decrease in the average size of rental housing units in the Netherlands. However, the traditional way of living alone means less space efficiency and more energy consumption. In addition, mental happiness is largely related to the new lifestyle and the living environment. So the objective of my graduation project is to design a mode of single-living housing which is spatial-efficient, sustainable, self-sufficient and provides extra quality for mental happiness.
The number of people living alone has risen sharply and there is a trend of the decrease in the average size of rental housing units in the Netherlands. However, the traditional way of living alone means less space efficiency and more energy consumption. In addition, mental happiness is largely related to the new lifestyle and the living environment.
So the objective of my graduation project is to design a mode of single-living housing which is spatial-efficient, sustainable, self-sufficient and provides extra quality for mental happiness.
People are different from each other, and as a single person, and they are in different situations and mode from time to time. So the fact that they can always have the choice matters. In my project, people have the choice over which kind of space they want to share with others and how big the sharing cluster is. Apart from sharing the kitchen and dining area, other choices include living area, studying and reading space, music recording room, pet room, etc, based on their hobbies and interests. This is also the way how the sharing cluster can be formed. According to my study, a suitable number of inhabitants in a working sharing cluster is from 4-12.
Also, people can choose to share the kitchen, but when they just cook something very simple or want to stay in their private space, they can achieve that without going out of their apartment. So for every single living apartment, even they choose to share the kitchen and dining area, there is still a kitchenette which is only 1.3 m2. In conclusion, my research of sharing community try to help with urban loneliness with the consideration of sustainability and living quality.
A flexible building which is adaptable to different functions and situations stays longer and thus is more sustainable. Most flexible buildings nowadays apply the floor height of 4 meters for both the office and residential program. But that also means some space is wasted because a normal residential building only needs 3-meter floor height. So I try to figure out a new system which can be both residential and office function by just changing parts of the floor elements. By doing this, the system also provides loft apartments which have higher spaces with good quality. On the other hand, there are other flexible ideas such as adding layers or structure on the top or next to the first phase of construction. But this kind of buildings is not applied widely because it has limitations of the need for extra huge installation machines from the top and it is easy to lose control at the urban scale. Also, because all the structure is flexible, the structure system needs more effects to stay strong enough. However, this approach works for clients who don’t have enough money at the beginning.
The structure system of my project was developed based on the above research. So there are different layers and order in my system. The concrete megastructure acts as the first layer to support the building. The infills wooden elements create different space based on the function and they can be moved to a new position if the function changed. The characteristic of each layer depends on its flexible possibilities. For the relatively fixed layer, in my system is pre-fab concrete, it shows the strongness and permanence. And for the relatively flexible layer, the wooden elements, they show the feeling of liveness, light and nature.
1. Pre-fab concrete mega structure
2. Light-weight wooden infills with small slabs
■ 5500+3000 living mode
■ 4250+4250 office mode
According to the WHO report, the advised indoor temperature are living areas 21 °C, kitchen and circulation areas 16 °C, bathrooms 21 °C, bedrooms 18 °C. 7 However, the single-living studio usually has only one big room which includes the function of bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. The conventional apartment can set lower temperature for bedroom and kitchen to reduce the heating load, which is not the case for the single-living apartment.
Thermal-function zone: Put the high-temperature-requiring functions to the southern side and make use of solar heat. It limits the flexibility of the layout and may cause the problem of privacy since the sleeping area is near the northern entrance. In winter, the solar heat is not stable.
Better Living is a community for young people to settle down in cities, where they can meet friends and enjoy a happy balanced life. We provide living facilities with quality as well as possibilities for social life. There are big kitchens and living rooms for parties, a gym and restaurant for sports and food, roof gardens where you can plant your own fresh vegetables... There are both practical social space and quality living space. The community is a platform from where you can start your wonderful life.
The project achieves good integration of the architectural elements and the energy-efficient system. It advocates natural ventilation and using natural resources. Inhabitants are encouraged to control their own living environment based on their feelings and the advice of the system. The concrete megastructure acts as the first layer to support the building.
The infilling wooden elements create different spaces based on the function and they can be moved to a new position if the function changed. The flexible structure system provides small spaces for living as well as big spaces for social events and working.
The building is owned by one company. They provide rental housing to young people as starters and rent working space to company agency or freelancers. The rental contract is at least 6 month to maintain the stability of the community. The company can provide similar working and living community at different locations and different cities. The service of rental living and working space can become a membership for young people, so they can work and live around the world and easily settle down anywhere.