Most of us have lived, or are living, or will certainly reside in a shared student house – a good combination of cheap housing and intense socializing with friends and school mates. For a reasonable price, it is possible to have a single private room and share co-living spaces. As a matter of fact, not only college students are living in this manner these days. The idea of co-living is becoming more and more an attractive and efficient option.
The high prices of property and a progressively solitary lifestyle are making people look for new ways of living. In spite of the correlations with a student house, co-living combines many other elements, like a sense of community, durability, and a joint economy. This principle appeared in Denmark in the 1970s – initially as cohousing. The Sættedammen initiative, for instance, consisted of 35 families living in private homes while sharing communal spaces for socializing and activities, such as dining, house cleaning, group events, celebrations, and other events. These days, co-living provides a wide range of possibilities, ranging from people who simply live together – entirely sharing the physical space – to communities who likewise share values, interests and an approach of life.
Nowadays, recently graduated individuals – for whom the appeal is often financial – are a terrific niche in the co-living market. Unable to afford the costly rental fees in big cities, they find the solution in sharing. Nevertheless, these people are looking for places that are better-maintained, better-structured and more ideally located than student homes. Co-living spaces – designed and handled by companies specialized in house-sharing – are a significantly popular option in this niche. Instead of looking for flat mates, and having to deal with shared contracts and bills, one can simply rent a dormitory in some of these developments. Most of them offer pre-furnished and decorated rooms, communal features – including kitchens, social areas, and co-working spaces – and also professional cleaning services and even social workers available to help the residents adapt to their new neighborhoods.
Digital nomads and world citizens also adapt well to shared environments. Many of these co-living developments have units all throughout the world’s major capital cities, so they can choose one as a base location and move around as needed, instead of keep hopping from one Airbnb to another.
Yet another growing niche market consists of slightly older people with higher incomes who want extra space and privacy. Most of them are in their 30s, single or married, without children and have just relocated to a new area. In their point of view, co-living offers not too much a financial solution but a pursuit of a feeling of community. Node is a leader in this type of enterprise and has several units around the globe. Their apartments include a private kitchen and living-room – decorated and curated by professionals – while the communal activities take place at events organized by the company, like wine tastings, wine tastings, decorating Christmas, trips to film festivals.
A study conducted by Space 10 – lab – focused on learning about what people would like to experience in co-living and what they would want to share – or not. The goal was to make better design decisions when creating new sharing spaces, by recognizing people’s interests and concerns before designing the project. The survey was answered by 14,000 individuals from 147 different countries and is still available online for those who want to participate. The results posted in 2018 show that most of these people are drawn to shared housing for the sake of socializing with others, and not due to saving cash. The majority also claims prefers to living in small communities of four to 10 people – compared to the way co-living companies have been planning: living spaces for hundreds of people, like the Old Oak in West London for instance, that has 550 beds. these types of places always use the kind of beds which are adjustable like electric beds, So like if they need add more beds in the same space they can adjust the current beds frame size to fit another bed. Another intriguing observation is that most would choose to live with people of different origins and ages. Additionally, almost all of them would prefer living with childless married couples and single women – the least popular house members were small children and teenagers
The Oosterwold Co-living Complex in the Netherlands, designed by bureau SLA, is a good example of the concept. The idea of building the dream house on a large land, but on a minimal budget, encouraged the architects to encourage friends who were willing to experience a new way of living. Here, indoor spaces could be completely customized by the residents, who share the outdoor areas. While the concept is new, it needs to gain more supporters seeking a freer lifestyle and preventing the need to reside in a city. No doubt, we will soon be seeing more co-living projects at ArchDaily.