2015
2015 Competition

Rejuvination

Can the aging of a city and of its people—be addressed by a single architectural solution?

2015 Competition Overview

Growing old is a problem for cities, a problem for buildings, and a problem for people. Advances in medical treatments have allowed people to live longer, a change that has proved to be both a blessing and a curse. The retirement age has remained a constant 65 since the 1930’s, while average lifespan has risen from 63 to 80 during that same period. In the United States, 40 million people – 14% of the population – are 65 or older, with the number expected to double by 2050 to represent more than one-fifth of all Americans.

During these later years, seniors’ lives are radically disrupted. Spouses die at different times or deteriorate at different rates, effectively abandoning one another. Seniors are often relocated to assisted care or nursing homes, where they must adjust to completely new communities. Seniors must relinquish some of their freedoms and personal identity to conform to the institutional setting of group care. Race, sexual orientation, and income too often play a role in admissions decisions. Gays often go back in the closet out of fear of discrimination. Leisure activities become more difficult on the body and the default alternatives (Bingo, anyone?) mainly serve as mindless diversions, helping old folks to be ‘distracted until death.’ Moreover, seniors must have continued work opportunities to pay for the care they receive either directly or through societal productivity.

Cities have proven to be one of the most effective environments to combat the tragedies of aging: they offer community, low-impact exercise, local cultural options, social and political groups, and a concentration of goods and services. Yet cities, too, are growing older, their 'obsolete’ buildings abandoned by businesses and residents seeking spaces that accommodate contemporary technologies and modes of living and working.

Taken together, can these two problems—the aging of a city and of its people—be addressed by a single architectural solution? What is a new program for aging? How can new senior living models allow for reorganization of family? How can non-traditional or self-constructed family groups be accommodated? How would architecture facilitate a profitable post-retirement work life? How can retirees remain an integrated and vibrant part of society?

Jury

Charles Renfro, AIA

Jury Chair & Program Author
Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Matthias Hollwich, SBA

Co-Founder, HWKN

Todd Ebeltoft

Snøhetta
2nd Prize Winner, 2012 Lyceum Competition

Randy Morton, AIA

Principal, Director
HKS Urban Design Studio

Jennifer Sweet

Director, Lyceum Fellowship

2015 Winners

Jiaweimai
1st Place

Jiawei Mai (Vincent)

University of Oregon

Dylanhursley
2nd Place

Dylan Hursley

University of Arkansas

Melissalong
3rd Place

Melissa Long

University of Cincinnati

Amylarson
Citation

Amy Larson

University of Arkansas

Haleydavis
Merit

Haley Davis

University of Oregon

Evanhursley
Merit

Evan Hursley

University of Arkansas

Meghandavis
Merit

Meghan Davis

University of Arkansas

Gaelperichon
Merit

Gaël Périchon

University of Cincinnati

Sarahtappe
Merit

Sarah Tappe

University of Arkansas