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FAIRE 2019

Old Age Revisited

Bond Society / Re:bond

© DR A feedback-based study of a co-habitat for active senior citizens

A feedback-based study of a co-habitat for active senior citizens

 “Old people no longer move, their gestures are too wrinkled, and their world is too small ” sang Jacques Brel.

But is old age necessarily synonymous with decline and isolation? In an aging society where life expectancy has increased by an average of 8 years in the last 4 decades, the lives of old people are totally different from previous generations. People now retire to another 20 to 30 years of their lives, almost a third of their entire existence. Talking about aging is a challenge, but a necessary one. More than 20% of the population of Paris, for example, is more than 60 years old.

Old Age Revisited asks, how are senior citizens integrated into our society, our cities, and into Paris in particular?  How can we invent new modes of interaction, mobility, and habitat that are suited to these people’s needs?

In the last few years, we have seen the emergence of new forms of habitat for senior citizens who are still independent. Inhabitants themselves, organizations, social housing managers, and private actors have spearheaded a number of alternatives.

The Old Age Revisited research project seeks to understand the needs of senior citizens today through a detailed case study of existing projects. It identifies and proposes new modes of habitation that are adapted to a variety of lifestyles.

What are the alternatives to traditional old-age homes for people who find themselves between retirement and a potential dependence on medical structures? What do the future inhabitants of such places seek, ideally? How can they be integrated into the ecosystem of Grand Paris? And how can these various options include senior citizens within our society?

Changes in habitat for senior citizens are often tied to a moment of transition: retirement, health issues, the loss of one’s spouse, or isolation. Identifying these events leads to a more precise determination of senior citizens’ habitat requirements. Meeting inhabitants of these new kinds of places, as well as those people who have remained in their homes, is essential to identifying their motivations and knowledge of the new lifestyle options available to them.

As architects, it is our duty to analyze these social evolutions to develop new and better-adapted projects and to reveal their potential to nourish our practice and that of the architects of tomorrow.
Seniors often believe that their only options are either to stay at home or to move to an old age home. Therefore, this research also seeks to transmit information so that senior citizens can become aware of the new kinds of habitats available to them. Old Age Revisited was thus conceived as a way for communities, municipal administrations, planners, developers, and architects to learn about such programs.  
Project by 
Bond Society / Re:bond, Pierre Antczak, Christelle Gautreau, and Stéphanie Morio

Bond Society is an architecture and design firm founded in Paris by Christelle Gautreau and Stéphanie Morio.

Educated in Nantes, Paris, and London, the firm’s partners have combined their individual areas of strength for several years to pursue a joint, usage-based approach. Through a variety of research and construction programs, they work on a modular, flexible form of architecture able to evolve and keep pace with the changing world of today. Their practice is nourished by an analytical, collaborative approach that seeks to adapt to new modes of living, inhabiting, and working.  
In an awareness of the environmental challenges that our society is facing, they have worked for several years on establishing a balance between rationalization and architectural quality by insisting on durability and the reasonable use of materials.  

Since its founding, Bond Society’s uniqueness has come from its focus on one main concern: architecture as a way to create personal and social connections. The team powers itself: the 15 members of the firm complement one another through the diversity of their talents in the four areas in which Bond Society works (research, architecture, building, and design).

Bond Society seeks to create connections between individuals and society as a whole. It places great emphasis on the sharing of competencies in shared projects, which is why the firm constantly searches for new collaborations, through which it has already created close, long-term bonds with its various partners. 

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