This month marks the completion of construction on UIUC’s Life Home: Center on Health, Aging and Disability for the College of Health Sciences at the University of Illinois. The facility offers an interdisciplinary hub for health, aging, and disability research and observation space in a simulated residential setting.
TKB was engaged by the University of Illinois to design a 5000 SF new building for the interdisciplinary center. It includes a typical residential layout with two bedrooms, dining and kitchen areas, an open plan living space, and a fully accessible bathroom with tub and shower, all for-research purposes. One-way windows allow observational research into living spaces to see how users with accessibility issues engage with various products. Cameras record the users’ experience for later analysis. The residential portion of the building simplifies the exchange of tested products.
Products and materials are tested in a laboratory space adjoined by a garage for ease of material delivery. A flexible conference / classroom space can be used by those engaged with facets of the product study: students, researchers, industry partners and the community. A movable glass partition opens the conference room to the adjoining lobby/break room for larger group access. A small administrative area, two interview rooms, and back-of-house functions also support the research function.
The residential facade faces the street, with the academic portion of the building accessed from a rear parking lot. Landscaping further enhances the residential feel.