Architect Matthias Hollwich studied aging and gayness and found a disturbing truth.
Geezers discriminate. So he is re-designing BOOM, a planned community to embrace gays as they age.
“Age discrimination is really prevalent in our society, Plus, you are actually discriminating against something you will be in your own future.”
Fast Company reports:
His new projectBOOM, a $250 million development planned for the Palm Springs area that’s coordinated by Hollwich’s firm, is banking on the fact that hundreds of aging, creative boomers — many of them part of the local gay community — will move here to do it.
He designed a community for Palm Springs’s burgeoning gays that are 65 and over soon but soon his customers began to skew younger, namely when Hollwich’s research uncovered a bigger shift in LGBT lifestyles that happened around 40.
“You might shift from a party life into one that’s more settled down,”
Hollwich then examined other lifestyle trends that changed BOOM’s focus even more. For example, even the definition of “family” was different for the gay community, says Hollwich. The people they spoke to considered a wide range of people, including ex-partners and close friends, to be their immediate family, some of whom might not identify as LGBT at all.
“We got so much response from the outside that asked for it to be a community for all,”
So the plan expanded to become more of a destination, with dining, retail, and boutique hotels. Specific elements like the Healing Funhouse by Arakawa + Gins, a colorful, highly textured playground, are designed for both kids to scramble over and for their grandparents to stretch and condition their bodies.
Hollwich is still counting on the LGBT community to drive BOOM’s culture.
“The LGBT community has a very entrepreneurial role in society, they choose to be very innovative with how they live their lives,”
he says. Hollwich hopes to see everything from mentoring programs to art studios to small businesses initiated by the residents in a way that can serve the greater community but also acknowledges the “vibrancy and diversity” the LGBT community is known for.
Source: Fast Company