Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Dan Powers, M.Arch

Co-Major Professor

Stephen Lafferty, B.Arch

Committee Member

Debra Dobbs, Ph.D.


Seniors, Florida, Retirement, Housing, Residential


As the U.S. population gets older, there is an increased need for senior housing. However, elderly housing is currently associated with dependence and isolation. There is a great disconnect from the retired community with its surrounding context. Senior housing and nursing homes are becoming more similar to miniature hospitals rather than a residential type. This negative view of nursing homes is becoming clear to the general population. In fact, most seniors fear the idea of living within an aging complex. Also, people generally avoid these places, even while visiting family. Florida is on the frontline for the effects of the retiring baby boomers. This master’s project is about researching and designing a multi-housing community that strives toward social independence and interaction for the elderly.

How does one solve the problem of the increasing need for senior housing when everyone discards the idea of old senior housing facilities and nursing homes? How could one create a place that can handle the needs of an aging community while attracting outsiders?

In order to change the perception of elderly housing facilities, there needs to be major fundamental change in the design process. Healthcare and efficiency, even though vitally important, need to become secondary to social independence and multigenerational interaction as the driving force for design and development. These communities need to hold an identity that is appealing for different uses and for people of different ages. By improving the fundamental design process of senior housing, it is possible to introduce a sense of place and home which lack in current senior housing developments.