Design responsive to different needs
"It's all about the numbers," says architect Howard Perlman, president of Las Vegas-based Environmental Design Group, whose 2Gen designs are credited with starting the trend. "People are living differently today," he says. "When a third of the world is living doubled, it makes sense to build multigenerational houses that can still function very well as traditional houses."
Perlman's 2Gen house, which includes a lock-off space with separate entrance within the floor plan of a family home, ensures that each family unit has privacy, including its own front door, kitchen and living space. It can be used by aging parents or boomerang kids, as a home office, a nanny apartment or a space for extended visits from out-of-town relatives.
"Every architect dreams about being able to push society in a direction that's positive," Perlman says. "It's good to have grandparents living with grandchildren when there is a proper house to do that in, so that everybody has their own space and can be separate when they want to be. It's healthier for the kids and for the seniors."