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In this post Laura explores the growth of ageing population in the UK with a key focus on independent supported living for elders. I’d like to add to this post by considering what housing types are the most suitable and comfortable for the elders. During the work on Extra care housing scheme this semester my group and I have realised that the so-called gallery house type is one of the best decisions for this kind of inhabitants. Therefore, I’d like to dedicate my post to this house type, to explain what that means and to show the positives of that.

What is a Gallery house?

Gallery house is a type of multi-storey residential building. Access to the apartments in this type of buildings is carried out from open galleries on one side of the building. Galleries are connected by at least two stairs (two escape routes) and sometimes by elevators.

Positives of the Gallery type of a house


  1. The dual aspect flats in this type of housing provide natural ventilation (Fig. 1).
  2. Each flat on the ground floor has its own separate entrance from the outside. That creates a sense of an individual house for residents. But it’s possible to enter these flats from the gallery, too. That helps to develop a sense of community while respecting privacy and independence [2].
  3. The gallery itself is a kind of a shared space, where neighbours can spend time together. That alleviates loneliness and helps to encourage social interaction [2].
  4. Galleries can significantly enrich the architectural appearance of the building. Wide galleries and colourful fencing panels are expressive aesthetic elements of the facade.
  5. Сommunication with the environment is provided.
  6. Space saving is also a positive moment, as there is a need of a smaller number of staircase cells in this house type.


  1. Neufert, E. (1980). Architect’s data (2nd edition). UK: Blackwell Science Ltd.
  2. Park, J., Porteus, J. (2018). Age-friendly housing. London: RIBA Publishing.
  3. Elderly Accommodation Counsel. (Accessed: May 2019)
  4. Extra care housing schemes. Available at: (Accessed: May 2019)

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


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