A building that is lovable and durable should be adaptable so that it can be used for many things over the centuries. This building began as a savings and loan institution. It's now a Banana Republic, but as you can see from the holes caused by previous signs, it has been other things in between. And because it's adaptable, it is likely to be used for other things as well.
Home to Many Generations
Buildings can be adaptable in many ways. Some are obvious, like the large house that becomes an attorney's office a couple generations later. American houses once were home to many generations of the same family, but we've so custom-fit today's house designs around single market demographics that when you enter another stage of life, you have to find somewhere else to live. This house breaks that mold, and is able to welcome three generations or more of a family to live there at once. Here's how it works.
We’ve described how carving into walls for shelving enhances the durability of a building and can even help make a neighborhood more serviceable, but they’re also useful for making a building more adaptable because the more stuff you can store in a room, the more things you can do there. This cottage, for example, carves into every interior wall for storage.
The larger buildings get, the more specialized they tend to become. A one-room schoolhouse from America’s past, for example, can be used for many things, whereas a 100-classroom school will never be anything but a school. These two tiny shops at Mahogany Bay Village are a real estate sales office and a coffee shop right now, but they likely will be used for many uses over the years. And their tiny size helps make Mahogany Bay more serviceable as well because they’re small enough to be single-crew workplaces.