Generations Crossing is an intergenerational day care center: one that provides care and activities for both older adults and for young children, and fosters mutually beneficial interactions. Centers such as these offer unique opportunities for the enrichment of elders and children alike. They also, however, face unique constraints, such as the need for spaces that meet very different needs (for children of different ages, for older adults, and for group interaction).
Mather Architects was excited to take on the challenge of creating one facility that could meet so many needs and serve so many functions. We knew, for example, that the area dedicated to the older adults needed to be significantly different from the other areas. We created a large common room devoted to the older adults that allowed for multiple activities to take place at once without distracting from each other, including space for quiet time alone. The areas dedicated to child care were each customized to the needs of the specific age group. The adult and child areas are separate enough that the adults can pursue their own activities without being distracted by noise from the child care rooms — but connected by a large common area where elders and children can meet for shared activities.
The result is an integrated facility that serves the needs of each independent group, but also fosters their interactions. The generations regularly meet for games, crafts, singalongs and just to chat and get to know each other. And the wait list for both the adult care and the child care programs is one of the longest in town — a testament to the success of intergenerational care provided in a purpose-built facility.