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Aging in Place

Technology, Universal Design, ADA

Location: Oakland, California

Class: Studio III

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Client Profile:

Linda and Tom, age 60, are looking to downsize from their home current home. They are in the baby boomer generation, and like most baby boomers they are looking to age in place and maintain their active lifestyle. They are looking for a home to accommodate visits from their two adult children, and their four grandchildren (4,8,12 and 14). The families of four rarely visit at the same time. Linda still works from home as a consultant while Tom has multiple sclerosis which will potentially require him to be in a wheelchair in 5-10 years.

Design Statement:

The Finch residence, located in Oakland California, is designed to accommodate the transition of Linda and Tom to age in place. Their chosen community, Redwood Village, will support their active lifestyle that includes hiking, exploring the city, and activities that allow them to spend time together. With the potential to transition into a wheelchair, the house focuses on the seven universal design principles with an emphasis on size and space for approach, tolerance for error, and flexibility in use. A seamless, automated indoor-outdoor space will create easy and safe access to the outdoors, demonstrating size and space and low tolerance for error. A spacious kitchen design and a multifunctional flex room will allow the ability for the rooms to change as the Finch’s needs change, demonstrating flexibility. The combination of Scandinavian intentionality and Japanese minimalism merge the warm, and relaxed California aesthetic with function.




Universal Design

ADA is a civil law that requires certain public institutions to adhere to guidelines pertaining to employment, transportation, telecommunication, education, and architectural barriers.


Universal Design focuses on human centric design for a diverse community of ranging needs and abilities. Its principals create design guidelines that de stigmatize disabilities, and creates an equitable environment for all users.


Located in Oakland California, Redwood Village is a transitional housing community, to support its community in all waves of their aging journey. Starting from preventative health and independent living, to at home care and hospice services, residences will always feel safe and secure, and never displaced in their community. Redwood Village will offer full service clubhouse amenities ranging from sport options, dining, clubs, transportation options and hobbies etc. Oakland is a vibrant and creative city with many fun activities to do. The Redwood Village provides access to the excitement of Oakland while creating a retreat to get away from the crowded city life. Local art is scattered around The Village interiors and serene gardens give a retreat from the city.   


Principle 1: Equitable Use

Principle 2: Flexibility in Use

Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use

Principle 4: Perceptible Information

Principle 5: Tolerance for Error

Principle 6: Low Physical Effort

Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use

Criteria, Adjacency Matrix & Diagramming

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The combination of Scandinavian intentionality and Japanese minimalism merge the warm, and relaxed California aesthetic with function.

Design Development

Design Dev.

Universal Design Principal Keyed Plan

Technology Spotlight

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The primary bedroom, located at the front of the house provides a separate egress path in case of emergency. a simple framed bed with “handles” on the headboard make getting in and out of bed easy. Vinyl wall-covering protects the walls from any wheelchair damage.

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The primary bathroom is equipped with fully ADA compliant shower fitting, custom built in cabinetry, and finished in full zero threshold tile.

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Rendering in Collaboration with Laura Agbayani

Rendering in Collaboration with Ally Singer


Rendering in Collaboration with Laura Agbayani

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The bonus/flex room will serve as an office for linda, an extra bedroom, and a playroom for their grandchildren. An l- shaped desk allows for plenty of room and storage, and has a view of the outside.  A pull out sofa turns this space into an instant bedroom. shelving lines the right side wall to hold toys, office supplies, etc. the kids will love the hanging chair in the corner, which serves as a perfect place to read a book or take a nap. 

Construction Documents

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Final Presentation

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