Intergenerational living: Architecture for family offices and residences


As housing costs continue to rise, intergenerational living is fast becoming a viable option for families to support each other and build closer relationships. Intergenerational living is a common practice where families or people of different ages live together under one roof.

In some cases, the modern intergenerational concept goes beyond families living together under one roof to include individuals (young or old) with common interests.

Widespread adoption of intergenerational housing is based on overcoming challenges such as caring for older generations and coping with rising housing costs for younger generations. In this way, all age groups can mutually benefit from the daily connection.

In addition, intergenerational living spaces are more or less like family homes where different activities can take place without anyone getting in each other’s way. Through collaboration between family offices and Zurich architects, living spaces are designed to meet the personal needs of family members.

Above all, however, it is a place where community needs are met and social bonds are forged.

Advantages of intergenerational living

In a fast-paced world where the daily demands of life and work can put a strain on family relationships and bonds, having children, parents and grandparents living together offers benefits that ensure the well-being of families across multiple generations.

What’s more, the benefits of generations living together go beyond mere comfort. In this section, we will explore the benefits that families derive from this model of cohabitation. Let’s dive in!

  • Reduced costs

Intergenerational living offers families the advantage of sharing housing costs and other important living expenses. Unlike running separate households, individual members can use shared costs to cover “utilities”, “mortgage payments” and other household needs and expenses.

  • Emotional support

Emotional problems such as loneliness and isolation are widespread in modern society, especially among the older generation and those who do not have children. However, living together provides necessary emotional support and companionship and improves overall well-being of family members.

  • Sustainability practices

Family offices play a key role in helping families build sustainable features into their homes. in Zurich Architecture, Intergenerational living focuses on meeting the present needs of families without compromising the future love needs of future generations.

  • Caring for elderly relatives

Elderly members of the family can be adequately cared for by their relatives (and not by strangers). All thanks to the model of intergenerational living!

Older relatives in intergenerational living arrangements enjoy the reliable support of their family members. It promotes the feeling of being needed and loved, which is the “best gift” you can give older relatives.

This is because the number of people around them decreases drastically as they get older. And that is one of the reasons why loneliness and isolation are widespread among the older generations. It is therefore safe to say that the concept of families living together is the “best” medicine against the prevailing loneliness among older relatives.

Common considerations of Zurich architecture firms in the planning of multi-generation houses

As the demand for housing solutions that meet the needs of several generations increases, Zurich architectural firms are leading the way in designing spaces that harmonize the individual and communal needs of families under one roof. In this section, we will examine key factors or considerations when designing intergenerational living spaces. Let’s get started!


Over time, the collective or individual needs of family members may change. The design of intergenerational spaces should therefore be flexible and easily adaptable to the changing needs and lifestyles of families. For example, younger family members will go through different stages of growth/development, and children will not always be children!

The spaces that served them in their childhood cannot possibly meet their needs as teenagers. Well-designed architecture takes this possibility into account during the design process.

Flexible design elements such as open floor plans, multifunctional/convertible rooms, etc. allow customers to create a customized living experience as their needs change.

2. easy to use home designs

This is another critical aspect that should be considered in the design process. In Zurich, the architectural firms attach great importance to an inviting design that takes individual preferences and differences into account.

For example, wide door openings, door handles and step-free entrances make it easier for older people and people with disabilities to access certain areas of the building.

3. privacy

In multi-generational homes, private rooms are just as important as communal rooms. As much as this living model promotes communal interaction, the private areas are just as important for creating a balanced relationship.

Individuals also need personal spaces in their homes where they can relax and unwind. These private rooms can be a separate bedroom, a study, a work area, detached units or self-contained quarters on the same property.

To satisfy the need for privacy, the Zurich architects use soundproof materials to design the living spaces in the house.

4. shared rooms

When living between generations, the creation of shared spaces is unavoidable. Designing shared spaces in the home promotes bonding, contact and interaction between family members. Some examples of shared spaces in multi-generational homes include kitchens, living rooms, gardens, dining areas and fun areas such as swimming pools.

Ultimately, architecture The design of multi-generational homes aims to encourage engagement without infringing on individual preferences or boundaries.

Structural types and forms of intergenerational living spaces and houses

In collaboration with Zurich architects, family offices are important players in the design of intergenerational family living. Intergenerational living spaces come in various forms and types to meet the different needs of families.

In this section, we will explore different forms and structures that intergenerational living spaces can take to serve multiple generations.

1st granny apartment:

A “granny apartment”, also known as an “Accessory Dwellings Unit” (ADU), is a small detached house that is usually built as a separate residence on the family property.

It is separated from the rest of the house (but still close enough to connect) and has its own living area, which offers privacy but is still close to the main house.

These separate units can serve as private retreats for teenagers, young adults or elderly parents.

1.multigenerational houses:

Multi-generational homes, also known as “family homes”, are the most traditional form of intergenerational living. These types of homes have both communal and private living areas that meet both the communal and individual needs of the family members.

2. mixed rooms:

In some structures, the separation between private and shared spaces is not physical. All families can live together in one building, with certain areas of the house reserved for each person.

This form of living is ideal for families who value close relationships, shared experiences and lasting memories.

3. removable caravans/house structures:

Caravan houses are a makeshift, modern, intergenerational living option. It is a self-contained living space that can be set up close to the main house.

Architecture for family offices and living spaces

Multifunctional living is at the heart of Zurich’s architecture and family offices.

Multifunctional living in this sense focuses on the design of flexible spaces that serve different purposes, such as guest rooms that can also be used as home offices, or communal spaces that promote social interaction.


As housing costs continue to rise, Zurich’s architecture firms have a crucial role to play in helping multi-generational families adapt without compromising their quality of life. This is also proof that the concept of intergenerational living is more than just a residential trend. It reflects how the family has evolved to adapt to growing social problems.

It also shows how Zurich architecture firms, in collaboration with family offices, help families with different needs to live harmoniously under one roof.


Industrial interior design

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