Housing for expanding families

Expanding families, city lifestyle

Redefining housing

A ten-point design manifesto for creating family homes worth staying in town for. We advocate for flexible layouts, ‘outdoor rooms’, multi-use annexes – and not least, a sense of community.

A study by the London School of Economics has discovered that thousands of families, who in previous generations would have moved out of the city, are deciding to stay in town. Changes in the way we live, work and play are contributing to this trend, which is great news for cities but presents the problem of how, as families expand and children grow, to accommodate them? House prices often prohibit trading up, and this means either staying put or finding a similarly-sized home.


We applied ourselves to the question of how to make a small home that can adapt to a growing family. And beyond the issue of space, we want people to feel proud of and inspired by their homes, and bring some of the benefits (gardens and greenery) to the city. Our ten-point urban housing design manifesto answers these challenges.





Glowing cores


Bring life and a sense of identity to anonymous public lobbies and stairways by introducing artworks and objects that are personal to the inhabitants, or evocative of the local area.
Built-in seating and book exchanges encourage residents to linger in the communal spaces and give excuses for neighbours to talk to each other,  fostering security and community.



A perfect fit


Today’s technology allows ultra-bespoke spatial design and home management.
Built-in storage for bikes, scooters, sports equipment and buggies keeps outdoor clutter contained and away from living areas, and accommodates changing lifestyles. Meanwhile, home automation systems make homes more responsive to residents' needs and save on energy bills.



Flexible layouts


Moveable and removeable stud walls let families make dramatic alterations to the layouts of their homes, enabling them to shape their environment so they can live comfortably for many years in the same - yet different - space.
Positioning radiators and power sockets so as not to limit furniture configurations allows rooms to adjust to their users, not the other way around.



Crafted fit-out

Offering a choice of finishes, from moulded shower pods to bespoke pendant lamps, helps residents to feel unique and proud of their surroundings.
Our vision is for warm, well-lit cocoons designed with an unstructured, easy, approach that rejects the sterile, angular and cold.



Après-commute terrace

We propose generous, roomy balconies designed for suppers with friends and soaking up the sun – not just for hanging out the washing.
Bespoke, fitted seating that doubles as storage space, and Scandinavian-inspired sheepskins and blankets help create outdoor rooms that can be used year-round.



Chamomile lawn

Few things are more soothing than treading barefoot on cool, fragrant chamomile.
The feel of herbage underfoot and the calming sight of an expanse of greenery inspires the idea of terraces featuring sunken areas of lush chamomile – far lower maintenance than grass, and sweet-smelling too.



Rooftop onsen

Scandinavian and Japanese cities understand the benefits of good bathing facilities.
We propose a timber-lined, communal rooftop space offering starlit bathing for couples, friends and families, booked by appointment. The warm water creates an opportunity for relaxing outdoors in almost any weather.



Summer music

In the warmer months, bring a festival feel to housing developments with music and outdoor cinema nights. BBQ facilities, outdoor screens and music can generate so much vibrancy that it is difficult to tear yourself away and go indoors.
This is a vision for hospitable, village living that creates strong communities by designing in opportunities for positive social interactions and shared experiences.
Section view, left, showing how some of the ideas could be developed into homes.
For more on this ...



Annex living


Let’s create spaces as unique as the people living in them. Rooms designed with nooks and crannies provide privacy, seclusion and – if designed with natural light in mind – a pleasant area to work or relax in.
Meanwhile, above-regulation sound-proofing creates calm and quiet amid the city’s din.



Shared greenery

Encouraging residents to let foliage tumble over railings by making planting part of a coordinated and community effort helps to soften hard edges. Greenery also creates dappled light to bring a sense of nature into a city apartment.
We believe in using flattering, low lighting both indoors and out – a warm, yellow 2700K colour reduces hard shadow and makes spaces feel cosier and bigger at the same time.



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 © 2020 Lyndon Goode Architects Ltd