The TEIEN HOUSE is an independent communal living experience curated to deliver the highest quality of life to aging Boomers looking to begin the next chapter of their lives.
Based upon the research of Neil Harris and John Grootjans through Griffith University, the TEIEN HOUSE seeks to integrate ecological wellbeing with a healthy, active lifestyle. In 2012, Harris and Grootjans conducted a study using a tripartite methodology to evaluate the needs of over 1000 residents living in assisted living and care facilities across Australia. In the first stage of their research, resident satisfaction surveys were distributed to the residents to identify the issues most pressing to residents. In the second stage, the survey findings were analyzed in a town-hall stakeholder forum. In the final stage, the findings were confirmed through one-on-one resident interviews and group workshops.
The results of Harris and Grootjans’ research found four key requirements for creating positive environments for members of aging- and communal-based living facilities.
These requirements are classified as [PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT], [SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT], [GOVERNANCE], and [ACTIVE LIVING]. These four key factors contribute to an overall sense of resident wellbeing and wellness that empowers people in aging communities to lead self-determined, active lifestyles.
In designing and producing the TEIEN HOUSE, we examined schema that created pockets of self-determined, “private” space amidst a larger layout of communal living. Areas such as bedrooms were programmed to be private spaces not dissimilar to hotel rooms, including features such as private bathrooms, small terraces, and small respite areas, while more social programmatic elements, such as kitchens, gardens, and reading rooms were designed to be public within the boundaries of the community. These spaces were further distinguished architecturally by tucking more private spaces behind opaque walls, and cladding common areas with glass.
To further elaborate on the sense of communal living within an overall private
maintaining and facilitating an active lifestyle site, the design team chose to berm the first level of the complex underground, for several reasons: first, to save on heating, cooling, and energy costs while reducing the building’s carbon footprint; second, to create a unique sense of quiet and restfulness within a fairly busy neighborhood and state route; and third, to create a multi-level system of green roofs, terraces, and walkable indoor/outdoor spaces that contribute to residents’ active lifestyles.
The name TEIEN HOUSE comes from the Japanese word for garden, typically in reference to spaces commonly known as zen gardens or meditation areas. By creating a system of interlocking indoor/outdoor spaces nestled in a ground-cooled berm, the concept of a series of gardens functioning as both public and private spaces informed the design team’s decision to orient the complex along a solar-friendly east-west bar, with the majority of windows facing either north or south.
The project was created for a competition sponsored by Legat Architects and DIRTT for the 2018 Think Tank Event. The project team consisted of Justin Banda and Tyler Wade and won "Most Innovative" in the competition.