Can Architecture Actually Cure Your Loneliness?
Despite isolation being the most common health issue in the US, more Americans than ever before are opting to live alone. While living alone is a popular and acceptable choice, architect Grace Kim believes she has found a solution that will provide socialization for adults that want to live alone but not suffer with social isolation.
After noticing that loneliness can be a result of the built environment, Kim chose to consider ways that areas could be developed to address the issue. She recognized that simply having shared spaces wasn't enough since she notes that in an apartment building people that take the elevator together are more likely to look at their phone than start a conversation.
So instead of implementing activity in an apartment building, Kim has suggested and designed a cohousing community to encourage social interaction. While the proposed exterior structure of the buildings look very similar to any other apartment building, the interior is where it shows its potential.
The interior of the building is divided into nine apartments which each have their own living rooms, bedrooms kitchens and baths. The difference compared to an ordinary apartment building is that there is a central common house and courtyard for tenants to share.
While tenants can continue to live their lives separately, everyone dines together three times a week in the common house to build connections. To further social interactions, there are various chores that the tenants participate in to make the dinner possible such as cooking, cleaning up, or preparing.