A few days ago I met a nice family. Of those that were still normal in the last century. Parents who become, without realizing it, grandparents, children who would not want to abandon the original family unit and integrate their new one into that of their parents. This organization has always been identified as a patriarchal family, even if women are the driving force of the family, they have the superior intelligence to make the male believe, to be the king, while they are the ones who amalgamates and guides family group decisions.
However, it seems strange to say, nowadays finding a building container suitable for a beautiful expanded family becomes a daring enterprise; this idea is clashing with the parceling of housing units and the need to adapt to a large nucleus, situations designed for small groups that no longer communicate with each other.
Among other things, this prerogative to widen the family horizon also applies to the so-called "extended families". When parents leave themselves and new couples are formed, children still remain a shared heritage and must be preserved; finding spaces that allow the independence of each new couple but, at the same time, having common areas where to dissolve previous disagreements, would help to recreate a harmonious coexistence in the development of human relationships that constitutes our life.
So, we try to understand and describe how this ancient way of organizing socially, can ce considered a guidance for reorganizing living spaces, reinterpreting the past from a contemporary perspective.
The sub-nucleus: a fundamental requirement in order to prevent tensions and misunderstandings breaking out between the members of the "super group", it is necessary to assure to each couple and their children a part of the building, private and secluded. It is therefore necessary to have a suite with bathroom, sleeping area, and living space, where the couple can find the necessary intimacy and spend moments of couple that do not end up in bed but expand in daytime activities such as reading, informing, relaxing and where they can play with their children, in this multifunctional private space or, maybe, to watch a movie together. The environment should therefore be open to light and cozy and intimate at night. For young children and young people, private space is equally important; the classic family with two children can have two rooms and a shared bathroom for them. The common area of the small nucleus can be organized in a small dining room with a kitchenette where you can have quick meals, breakfast or cozy dinners. This space will have independent external access and will connect to the common areas of the "superfamily" while at the same time guaranteeing privacy.
The "Grandpa" nucleus, can live in a large suite with a small dining area and a dedicated kitchenette where to have breakfast or a quick meal in a reserved way. Most of the life of the original nucleus will take place in common spaces, where children and grandchildren will be welcome and grandparents will be able to enjoy their presence and be available for common needs.
The centerpiece of this house is the shared space between the various sub-groups that does not end in a large living room and a large dining room but integrates with a lot of other functions, such as a small common library, a small gym and wellness area, a room to watch films or television series in the company and a play and entertainment area between indoor and outdoor.
The living spaces of each unit are shared and therefore they can specialize and allow uses that would otherwise be impossible within a single apartment.
From the point of view of economic evaluation, this "cohabitation" allows savings in both the initial investment and the management and living expenses.
During the implementation phase, one can think of implementing the project in phases, according to changing needs and aiming to contain the budget and diluting the expenditure over several years in order to make it sustainable and adequate to the needs of the growing family.
If, for example, one of the children is not married, one can only think of finishing the suite for the moment and leave behind the finishes of entire apartment dedicated to him, which can be taken later, when there will be a real need .
In the same way, the expenses for equipping the common part can also be adjusted and made to grow in synergy with the possible investments. For example, you can think that the fitness room can be done at a later time.
The advantages in the management are both logistic: never again moving from one house to another, synergies in collecting children at school, ease of making cousins play together and relegating the disorder to a room dedicated to them, having a well-kept garden in less effort and in general better time management; both economic; You can have an important energy saving, and thanks to the time gained from family synergies you can organize profitable activities. A villa built in this way can also be partially put into income with excellent results with short rents and B & B treatments by allocating a wing of the house to the reception when one of the children, no longer has to live because maybe moved to another place for work .
The patriarchal family home has therefore a social and economic function to be reassessed and can be an excellent answer also for alternative families offering social integration and activities and benefits that the single apartment will never provide.
It can be obtained from renovations of old farmhouses and integrated with new buildings. Where garden and nature become easy to maintain, efficient cleaning, cooking a pleasure to share.
The family, whatever it is, highlights the best characteristics of mankind, provided that the container, where relationships are carried out, does not impose on coexistence and sharing of forced and invasive habits and lifestyles. Sharing and respecting private spaces, this is the right mix to be able to say: "Welcome back big expanded family!"