Ce.R.R.Co. Centro Ricerche e Relazioni Cornaglia
Collection “I quaderni dei Grandi Adulti”. Primer n. 1160 pages

In our subconscious the house represents our innermost nook, a “nest” and a safe shelter where we can satisfy our needs. For this reason the house is a place whose transformation keeps step with the transformation of the family living in it.


The house can be compared to a ”private universe” where we grow up to become adult and Great Adult. The transformation of our houses is of fundamental importance because a house succeeds in maintaining its primary purpose only if it evolves together its proprietors. Flexibility becomes the main aspect in the concept of space. The house must also adapt to both the psychological and physical change. In this Primer all the main room (kitchen, bath room, lounge and bedroom) and building appliances (floors and fastenings) are examined and a variety of suggestion are provided for each room.

Far this reason the house is a place whose transformation keeps step with the transformation of the family who lives in it the members of the family may change or they number may grow. This transformation is of fundamental importance because a hose succeeds in maintaining its primary meaning only if it evolves together with its proprietors. Flexibility becomes the main aspect in the concept of space. Anyway «flexibility» must be put in relation with «Duration». The house is a property which lasts for a long time and is subject to alterations. It must succeed in putting up with social changes technological development and plant engineering. The house must also get used to both psychological and physical changes in its owners and new ways of making use of it. Flexibility means the possibility of modifying the space and its component in order to make them more and more adequate to the needs of those people who live there. The house needs doing over. It has been proved that a pleasant and suitable house influences the quality of life of people of every age. The house plays an important role in elderly people’s life because they spend most of they time there. It is quite complicate to identify a suitable house as elderly people represent rather an un-homogeneous group like all other sections of population. Every person has his own characteristics which appear different from the other not only from a physical point of view (the ability of moving around and acting) but also from a psychological side (family habits, different ways of carrying out the same activities, and creating relation ships). We thing right to do up the house for two reasons:

  • Over 80% of the people above 65 have got their own house and in this phase of our life it is necessary to do up our house to make it more adequate to our needs.
  • Many flats that once use to satisfy our requirements over the years have become not very practical.
  • Official Italian statistics (Istat Institute) has reported  that the accidents in the house are about 3mln a year and the victims are about all elderly people, women and children.

Furthermore it has also been reported that the accidents in the house are about all due to architectural barriers. Owing to the about mentioned reasons the plan concerning the space in people houses must be maid quite carefully because its main aim is to satisfy the owners requirements. The starting point of the project must be an in-depth knowledge of the needs of the people who live in the house consequently the space, equipment and building materials must have precise requirements. In this way the owner will be able to carry out is every day actions . He may be in wheel chair, he may have lost either is hearing or sight, the may also have to use a stick or walk with crutches. He may be affected by pens in the points (difficulty in turning on and off either taps or cookers). The human body conceived as an encumbrance Anthropometrical features are to be taken into consideration. (height ability to move around even by using: sticks or crutches to be able to stand up to bend to risen or lower  one’s arms). If elderly people have to resort to an aid we must also thing of other activities such as to shift from/to a wheel chairs, how to leave and take a stick or crutches. A solution must be found for people who find it difficult to move around without any aid. The requirement are quite different as far as the organisation of the space is concerned: equipment and furnishings. Consequently, while some devices are to be considered valid for everyone, others are specifically related to hypo-sighted, hypo-hearing, and to those who suffer from reduced mobility, problems of coordination, reduced use of both arms and hands. The identification of the futures peculiar to a house must arise from a careful scrutiny which goes beyond the regulations in force. Simple devices such as cut down the size of a space, a careful choice of the materials to be used and furnishings. These clever devices may guarantee the utmost safety and at the same time housework easier.

Structure of the primer: in this concise manual the main rooms (kitchen, bath room, lounge and bed room) and some building devices (floors and fastenings) are taken into consideration; various suggestions are supplied for every room. Device concerning measurements (width, length) and the organisation of the space (furniture, positioning, house equipment and furnishings). As we have already said this devices are  linked to different requirements (the need to use aids in order to move around, or because of site problems). This suggestions are meant to improve safety and favour an autonomous use of both space and equipment. In the second part of every chapter we suggest the fittest equipment furnishings and accessories for each room. As far as single appliance are concerned we would suggest traditional typologies and it will be our care to point out their advantages and disadvantages. Beyond traditional typologies, we also propose new solutions which are already on the market and can be easily bought. We also suggest the right position for all appliance inside the house or flat-to make them safer. The target of this manual is to improve the organisation of the space, chose an put appliances in their right position. Anyway personal needs are always to be rest in two account. Cheap devices can be adopted by making slight alteration on what we already own. Some time a flat needs to be either  reconstructed or planning again. It is quite easy to consult this manual awing to a colour gradation which distinguishes each room.

Kitchen»yellow pages  -  Bathroom »light blue pages — Bedroom» red pages — Lounge »green pages — Floors and Fastening »brown pages — Equipment»lilac pages — Smart house » blue pages

Author :

Eugenia Monzeglio – an architect and Professor at the Faculty of Architecture, Turin Polytecnic. Her research work is in the field of architectonic and urban accessibility and planning buildings for residential, social or entertainment uses.  She has written and edited a number of books on the above subjects.

Silvia Bracco – an architect who runs a professional studio where she works on projects concerning health and social structures. These include planning buildings for residential, social or entertainment uses, both for elderly and handicapped people. She gained  a specialist degree after completing both post graduated courses and a Masters degree. She has written and edited a number of articles in books on that subject.

The Primers of Ce.R.R.Co. are not for sell, but can be distributed as long as are available.

For more information please contact: Ce.R.R.Co – Via Perugia, 2410152 Torino– Tel. 011 240 80 88 – fax 011 240 88 89

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