Boom: Modern retirement living
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Boom: Bold visions for modern retirement living

Boom: Modern retirement living
The architecture of retirement communities has long been traditional -- an old-fashioned look meant to feel familiar and give residents comfort. But now the generation marching toward retirement is that of baby boomers, many of whom grew up with modern design. To them, modern design is comfortable and familiar, raising the question: How long before modern replaces traditional as the style of choice in retirement living? Perhaps not that long, if concepts for a modern community called Boom come to fruition near Palm Springs. Here’s a peek at some of the early designs, including this one from the firm Lot-ek, which envisioned an event center composed of stacked, slanted boxes emulating desert rock formations. (Lot-ek)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Boom’s design and development team envisions a thoroughly modern community in the California desert. With the community still in the early planning stages, Boom invited 10 firms to submit initial designs – early visions of how a new kind of retirement community might look and feel. (Surfacedesign)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Though initially conceived as a community for gay retirees, the evolving plan now calls for multigenerational living. The vision incorporates housing with entertainment, night-life and fitness activities, the architecture complemented by landscape design by Surfacedesign. The planning team says the community should be “about living, not retiring – about inclusion, not seclusion.” To see how those goals might play out in the architecture, keep clicking … (Surfacedesign)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Giuseppe Lignano of the New York firm Lot-ek envisioned loft-style residences with screens to block the desert sun above and shaded outdoor living space below. (Lot-ek)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Charles Renfro of the New York architecture firm of Diller, Scofidio & Renfro conceived pre-cast concrete waves accommodating two-story housing units. The offset of the waves creates private garden space for each unit. (Diller, Scofidio & Renfro)
Boom: Modern retirement living
In the Diller, Scofidio & Renfro plan, troughs in the waves serve as entry points to gardens. (Diller, Scofidio & Renfro)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Berlin-based architect Juergen Mayer envisions curvaceous town homes with large patios and gardens accessible to the community. (Juergen Mayer)
Boom: Modern retirement living
The Juergen Mayer homes give way to a larger clubhouse, gym and spa that have the same fluidity of line. (Juergen Mayer)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Joel Sanders Architects conceived town homes set by a community “riverpool,” part of an effort to encourage social interaction. The town homes would be designed for flexible living, accommodating either couples or perhaps single adults living as roommates. (Joel Sanders Architects)
Boom: Modern retirement living
The town homes and “riverpool” are connected to park space. (Joel Sanders Architects)
Boom: Modern retirement living
More residences in the Joel Sanders Architects plan. (Joel Sanders Architects)
Boom: Modern retirement living
The Tel Aviv-based architecture firm L2 Tsionov-Vitkon made a dramatic proposal for the development: homes that resemble sculpted rocks and are equipped with the same kind of terraced roof gardens found in the deserts of Israel. (L2 Tsionov-Vitkon)
Boom: Modern retirement living
In L2 Tsionov-Vitkon’s design, the facade echoes the striations of the surrounding mountains. (L2 Tsionov-Vitkon)
Boom: Modern retirement living
The firm Rudin Donner incorporates a narrow sidewalk to encourage foot traffic and socialization. (Rudin Donner)
Boom: Modern retirement living
A pathway that runs past homes would perhaps create a sense of protection and an intimacy. (Rudin Donner)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Another view of the Rudin Donner design. (Rudin Donner)
Boom: Modern retirement living
The New York firm Hollwich Kushner proposed condominiums that lie under an elevated running track. The center of the track would serve as a community meeting spot. (Hollwich Kushner)
Boom: Modern retirement living
An exterior view of the track. (Hollwich Kushner)
Boom: Modern retirement living
Bostjan Vuga of the Slovenian firm Sadar & Vuga “designed residences to resemble flower petals that diffuse the desert sun and maintain shade for the outdoor areas,” according to developers. (Sadar & Vuga)
Boom: Modern retirement living
The design and development team says Boom continues to evolve into a vision of multicultural, multigenerational living. One idea from the New York team of Arakawa and Madeline Gins: a children’s playground with a “healing fun house.” This building, developers say, “is meant to challenge the minds and intellects of all ages.” ()
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