The multigenerational building in Gland promotes inter-generational exchanges through coexistence and interaction between different generations, integrating activities that involve members of different age groups: the program required low-rent apartments for young and elderly people, people with disability, a nursery school, and a multifunctional hall.
Nowadays in Switzerland there is a trend for elderly or disabled people to choose to live in residential buildings “protégé" with government grants, where they find space and assistance, as well as opportunities for socialization and recreation. Here the municipality’s attention to the positive effects of intergenerational exchange has brought about an experimental multigenerational and multiethnic community.
The volume is arranged around the distribution system, conceived as a collective space for circulation and meeting, a rue interieure which interprets the metaphor of urban space.
The idea of a way of living in a community takes form in a system of spaces for meeting, a true extension of indoor living. It is a place to meet other people within the neighborhood, and to further social integration through a program of activities coordinated by staff present within the building. The staff gives daily psychological aid and material support. Intergenerational communication is promoted by the many shared spaces on the ground floor, and there is cooperation between the nursery school and the residents.
The apartments of minimum size are based on accessibility requirements for people with disabilities. In addition, there are larger units of 3 and 4 rooms for families, as well as studios for students that since October 2015 have welcomed 40 residents.
The multiplicity of type solutions achieve the objective of offering a more complex range of units, closer to the residents’ specific needs and producing a more dynamic section scheme, developing the idea of a vertical village.
The small town has become, like many other examples in recent years, an urban entity, where the residential offer is nearer to the economic means of the less well-off people and where the neighborhood is suitable both for families with children and for older people. Swiss social aid to disadvantaged people promotes this kind of action. This type of building, which develops the idea of a community staying together, has become a symbol for this policy.
A few hundred meters from Lake Geneva, in a residential neighborhood, the building seeks to establish a strong relationship with the environment, combining the urban dimension and the territorial one.
The monolithic, irregularly shaped, large bending sloping surfaces, resist the distinction between the roof and the body of the building. Like faces of a prism, chromatically homogeneous on all sides, the two flaps of the roof with diagonal ridge define the inclined profile of the prospects. On the elevations, the apartment’s terraces mark the structural rhythm, interrupted by the continuous cuts of public spaces. On the ground floor, the nursery defines a relationship with the outside, opening the front towards the garden with the large curtain wall.
The building relates to many access areas: the entrance, at a lower level than the road, opens onto an outdoor space protected from vehicular traffic, organized through the system of seating and greenery; to the east, the kindergarten entrance, equipped with an outdoor area of a hard material for the transit of strollers and for bicycles; the garden, directly accessible from the children's living space, divided into a sequence of vegetable parterres and paved for different outdoor activities.
The building consists of four levels over the ground floor, including the last two in the attic space, reaching a total of twenty units.