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Exploring alternative residential care facilities for the intermediate elder : towards a retirement facility in Warwick Junction.

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South Africa has an ever growing elderly population above the age of 65, mostly African with limited education and employed in the informal market. Due to unforeseen socio-economic issues, the elderly have taken on the role of sole breadwinners, working well past their retirement age, making use of Child Support Grants and Old Age Grants to support a multi-generational/ extended household. Most suburban care facilities built during the past forty years have been designed for an exclusive demographic society, based on social, racial, economic and age groups. Current care facilities have become an outdated and irrelevant idea and does not meet the requirements of the current South African context. Research was conducted under the hypothesis that an inner city retirement facility with an additional intergenerational housing typology can become a suitable housing option for the ageing population in the lower economic bracket. The aim of this dissertation is thus two-fold. Firstly, it is to “rethink” care facilities to accommodate low income elderly with extended families and secondly, to re-imagine the experience of living in a care facility in Warwick Triangle. The scope of the work was limited to South Africa’s low income ageing population who have been affected by the current trend of mass urban migration and a skipped generation society. The research for this study follows a qualitative approach. An architectural response was generated through an investigation of current literature, case studies, precedent studies and personally conducted interviews with a number of low income elderly. The outcome of the research shows that there is a general lack of housing for low income elderly, especially those who support extended households. This calls for a care facility within Warwick Triangle responsive to the needs of the elderly.


Master of Architecture. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2016.


Theses - Architecture.