Elizabeth Mullens

Elizabeth Mullens

housing for millennials. UHasselt (Belgium)

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What needs do millennials in Flanders and Brussels have regarding how they live and how can alternative ways living form a solution for the current housing issues. There is a shift towards a more individual social fabric that does not take the social challenges such as land scarcity, affordability, environmental protection, mobility and the shrinking family size into account. Collectivity can help form a solution for these issues. By conducting my own research through a survey and focus groups I found that millennials in Flanders and Brussels have a strong need of flexibility but that they also still have a strong need to own their own home.

The design proposal forms an answer to how the need of flexibility and the need of ownership can be combined. The project consists of a network formed by nine buildings located along the canal zone in Brussels. In each of these nine buildings a different scale of collective housing is implemented. One can buy in on the project by buying shares. This way they are co-owner of the project without owning their specific unit. This enables the inhabitants to change unit easily when their personal situation and needs change.

They can move to a different location within the network or move to a different sized unit within their block. One of the nine locations is designed in detail. On this large site the human scale is reintroduced by working with the archetype shape of a house. The houses are lifted to create privacy and public space/communal space. The different shapes and heights alternate playfully. Spaces are created to form communities on different levels and to provoke interaction between these communities and the urban fabric by designing housing based on the needs of millennials.

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