Can Buildings Make Us Better Friends?
I live in a 12-unit apartment building and I never see my neighbors. Never. It took me over a year to run into anyone other than the person below me who bangs on my floor and then my door when I'm walking around too loudly (in socks!). The ironic truth is urban living can be lonely and it can get even worse in the high-rise buildings that this city is seeing more of. These newer towers tend to lack shared space where neighbors could bump into each other and where friendships could be formed.
Belgian architects from C.F. Møller Architects and Brut Architecture and Urban Design seem to understand the friendship struggle. According to Fast Co. Design, the two firms are working on a new design for a mixed-use high-rise with the goal of increased social interaction in mind. The building will have 26 floors broken up into smaller communities. Similar to the way college dorms are structured, different types of housing options, like family- or single-unit, are lumped together.
The other main strategies for forging friendships are community areas and places for multiple people to relax including a roof terrace, gardens, balconies, and a dining room. As noble of a pursuit as this experimental friendly building is, it feels like the proposed solutions are kind of obvious. Maybe we can check back on how buddy buddy its inhabitants are once its built around 2017. In the meantime, a good old-fashioned book exchange with a lot of wine did wonders for my neighbors.
[Via: Fast Co. Design]