Project Description

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


URBANA, ILLINOIS | 5,670 SF The newly completed Life Home building is an interdisciplinary hub for health, aging and disability related research and observation in a simulated residential setting designed for the College of Applied Sciences. Testing of materials and equipment appropriate to home use by specialized populations is conducted and observed by representatives from the actual affected populations.  The focus populations may have physical, emotional and/or mental challenges, with an age range from childhood to elderly. The building successfully integrates archetypes of a single-family residence for research subjects and a single-story public building, entered from the opposite side of the site, that welcomes academic visitors, researchers, and corporate partners. The residential rooms have observation windows separating them from researchers, and include a living/dining area, a living room area, a bedroom, laundry room and bathroom.  Audiovisual projections provide additional visibility into the interactions of volunteer ‘residents’. Large equipment and furnishings can be moved between the living areas for testing or to a connected makerspace in the research laboratory for modification and customization.  The makerspace is also equipped to manufacture prototypical equipment designed by program researchers.  The academic portion of the facility also includes a classroom, support areas, and a large lobby which, when combined with an adjacent conference room accommodates outreach receptions and meetings. TKB worked with the College of Applied Science to consolidate the program, and with UIUC Facilities and Services and campus oversight committees to expand campus material standards so that the building could be constructed within the available funds.