A mixed-use structure incorporates three or more purposes into a single structure, such as residential, hotel, retail, parking, transit, cultural, and entertainment. Whatever the mix, it brings numerous uses together within a single structure or a limited space. The different functions may be housed in separate buildings arranged around a common yard, or they may be integrated into a single building. The term "mixed use" was first used to describe town centers where markets, shops, restaurants, and hotels were all lined up on the same street. Today, many cities across the world have revived their downtown areas by creating live/work spaces that attract entrepreneurs who want to be close to their clients but not in their houses (the presence of children or pets makes this option impractical).
Mixed-use buildings are often found in urban areas where space is at a premium. They can also be useful when there is need for combination of functions, such as housing, commercial space, and office space. The type of use that will go into a mixed-use building will determine its size and shape. For example, if the building will only contain offices, then it can be as small as needed; if it will also contain retail space, then it must be large enough to fit inside.
The quality of life in an urban area can be improved by creating places where people can meet and interact with each other.
Consider a tiny storefront structure with residences above and stores below. That's only one example. A mixed-use building is a business structure that combines commercial and residential space. Such buildings are common in cities around the world. They're often found on street corners or near intersections where they can be easily seen by passersby.
Cities throughout history have been forming up around squares, which were often used for public executions, so these locations have served as needed reminders to keep society at bay. Today, shopping centers and malls serve this same purpose, but with less bloodshed!
In addition to being found in urban areas, mixed-use buildings can also be found in suburban neighborhoods too. These days, many large companies are moving their headquarters to the suburbs, which means we're going to need more houses and offices than usual. This creates a need for new types of buildings with multiple uses, such as corporate campuses that combine office spaces with shops and restaurants.
Finally, mixed-use buildings can also be found in rural areas. If you look close enough, you'll usually find that some type of business is tucked away in almost every town across the country. Mixed-use buildings are common in small towns because they help attract people to live and work there.
While mixed-use can take numerous forms, it is commonly classified as A vertical mixed-use buildings, B horizontal mixed-use blocks, or C mixed-use walkable neighborhoods. A Vertical Mixed-Use Building A building that incorporates many purposes in the same structure. The lower levels should have more public usage, whereas the upper floors should have more private uses. Examples include luxury apartments with ground-level shops or restaurants, or office towers with affordable housing units below.
B Horizontal Mixed-Use Blocks Several independent businesses located on the same block. These buildings may be one-story retail spaces with offices above or two-stories with both retail and office use. They often have a common wall system where the exterior walls share structural loads and any interior walls are either blank or feature glass doors for separation. The main advantage of this type of building is that it creates community feeling among the tenants. In addition, it reduces the need for parking since people don't own cars and therefore don't need their own space for storage. However, they are less flexible than vertical mixed-use in terms of using each floor for a different purpose. Mixed-use Walkable Neighborhoods Mixed-use neighborhoods are compact areas comprised of multiple adjacent buildings that provide several different services within easy walking distance of your door. These buildings might be offices with some lab space, research facilities, and a bookstore all in the same neighborhood or shopping centers with food stores, bars, fitness centers, etc.