I came across an interesting photo story about a “family compound” built by a baby boomer couple on 16 acres in Northern California. The compound is used as a weekend retreat by the couple and their five children from prior marriages.
< You can tell that an architect played a huge role in the design of the compound. Some of it is just weird to me, including the “communal bathroom” for the kids (who are older) and the tent-like guest cabins.
I generally like the concept of having a place that: (a) will attract family members to gather together for extended visits; and (b) is flexible enough to accommodate a large group of them. The compound in the story seems to work well enough for weekend visits.
Our lake home is on a small piece of property but the lake and outdoor areas greatly expand the perception of space and the recreational opportunities. Inside, it is equipped with many different sleeping options, allowing us to accommodate large family groups for week-long visits. It is a lot more casual than what is depicted in the story. It is also a lot less expensive.
I have read about family compounds that include multiple homes placed on a large tract of land. Different family groups live in each home. That is probably too much togetherness for most people.
Another trend in promoting unity of extended family is the “boomerang vacation” in which adult kids join their boomer parents on vacation. Some of this is out of financial necessity but I hope some of it arises from a desire to have shared family experiences, even in adulthood.
Here are the links to the articles for more reading.