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Article
Publication date: 28 May 2020

Tapio Kaasalainen and Satu Huuhka

Ageing populations induce needs to adapt existing housing. With ageing, the number of frail old people, who require assistance in daily life, is also increased. Converting…

Abstract

Purpose

Ageing populations induce needs to adapt existing housing. With ageing, the number of frail old people, who require assistance in daily life, is also increased. Converting existing housing into assisted living enables them to remain in their community while receiving necessary support and care. The purpose is to investigate whether post-war mass housing is spatially appropriate for adaptation into group homes for older people.

Design/methodology/approach

The research material is attained from Finland. Spatial requirements for group homes are drawn from 130 units built or renovated during 2000–2015. Spatial characteristics of mass housing are mapped from 105 apartment buildings built in the 1970s. The latter are matched with the former by comparing the connectivity of layouts, sizes of units and the numbers and sizes of individual spaces.

Findings

Group homes typically utilize a linear layout, which can easily be created in apartment buildings. Individual spaces of a group home fit apartment buildings effortlessly. Whole group home units mostly prove to be spatially feasible but result in looser dimensioning than is typical in existing units. The mass housing stock can be considered a spatial reserve for adaptation into group homes.

Originality/value

This is the first study to employ a large-scale, multi-case spatial mapping approach to analyse the adaptability properties of mass housing into assisted living. The findings pertain primarily to the Finnish context, but a methodology is presented which can be applied to other countries and also to other spatial functions.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2018

Satu Huuhka and Sini Saarimaa

When dwellings fail to respond to residents’ needs, housing will suffer from segregation and buildings will possibly be demolished ahead of their time. This paper focuses…

Abstract

Purpose

When dwellings fail to respond to residents’ needs, housing will suffer from segregation and buildings will possibly be demolished ahead of their time. This paper focuses on the lack of variation in the sizes of dwellings as a factor in residential segregation. It examines this issue in the context of Finnish mass housing built in the 1960s and 1970s. The purpose of the paper is to review how mass housing layouts can be adapted to produce the currently absent flat sizes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper operates at the intersection of human geography, building stock research and adaptability research. First, statistical data are utilized to investigate how dwellings and households of different sizes are distributed over the Finnish housing stock. Second, the building layouts of mass housing are examined in detail. Third, the potential that flats in mass housing have for size modification is reviewed.

Findings

There is a disparity of available dwelling sizes between different housing types, and statistics show that the proportion of large households has decreased significantly in blocks of flats over the last decades. The lack of large dwellings in mass housing may contribute as one factor to the segregation of the neighborhoods built in the 1960s and 1970s. The findings show how the variation of apartment sizes can be increased in mass housing.

Originality/value

The housing stock is rarely examined in detail in segregation research, even though it is a major determinant for a city’s social structure. This paper argues that to address segregation sustainably, it is necessary to understand the housing stock better and to view it as an adaptable asset.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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