Cohousing as a way of living concerns more about community and people. Residents have their regular private home with normal stuff and they have more shared space and facilities such as workshop, common room and gardens. Cohousing is always a supportive community which also offers greater opportunities for residents to design their own home. QQ图片20150518013747source:http://www.cohousing.org.uk/files/ukcn_leaflet_2013_0.pdf

Therefore, design in a cohousing community is always important not only because it it community made discussions, but also because it requires more consideration on key issues such as the balance of privacy and public, children security, and affordability. Common housing in a cohousing community is always the place where reflects the community demands. A whole community participation is always required in designing a common house. One fundamental design principles for common house is to offer a kitchen and dining room which can adopt large group of people cooking and eating together. The rest of rooms could be designed for other uses that are in demands such as guest room, baby care, studio, workshop, library and craft room. In general, common room should where to stay local residents and to meeting the local demands.

However, serious considerations as mentioned above should also be taken into account when designing a cohousing community. In order to achieve a balance between privacy and public, landscaping is always a mean to weaken the conflicts. landscaping in a cohousing community is always where gathering people as meeting point and talk to each other. It is also a physical and visual barrier to keep the privacy. Children need to be secured by designing the playgroup in the middle and surrounded by all housing units for neighbours` seeing. Cohousing requires affordability as well. Reuse of local materials using solar panels. Smaller house is also required as it costs less needs less energy.

Designing a cohousing community not only require considerations of designing a normal housing type but also further needs more considerations on other elements such as greater social sense, and management.


  1. Hi, thank you for sharing of your opinion of cohousing. You have covered most of the crucial issues we need to concern on when we design a co-housing community. As you said, community participation is always required, actually not only in designing a common house, but also in all the shared facilities. Because it may be different when we face to different clients and they will live together sharing a lot. So before project design, we have to learn their needs and community events could be a good way. There are some question we need to figure out. Such as, is it for a elderly community or an intergenerational community? What is the background and the profession of the potential residents? Do they have any common hobbies and interests or special requirements? How to balance their different requirements in one design? What is the proper size for each functional space? ect…

  2. Hi Shane, I very much enjoyed your summary on the features that cohousing needs to incorporate into the design. At the start of the year I was required to read a piece of literature that addressed the key aspects of design for cohousing and I believe that you have addressed them.

    Following the cohousing community event, the key aspects that were highlighted in the literature were exactly the same aspects that the cohousing group wanted to achieve. To divulge further in depth into the actual physical design of the cohousing, it can be useful to go into the houses themselves. What I mean by this is the design and layout of the private house. For example, in Lancaster the kitchens face out onto the communal walkway, this allows for people to overlook the walkway whilst they are cooking or doing some activity in the kitchen, providing this surveillance and safety that you mentioned. Despite cohousing being about relationships and working as a community together, people still require that little bit of private space to regroup and relax In their own company. From the reading and matching that of Lancaster, the sitting area is located towards the rear of the property, allowing for privacy and the potential for a respite from togetherness of cohousing. Yes I agree this is good for design, but if, like you mentioned, children were playing in an area, if the sitting room and private part is located out of sight, would this effect the safety of the children? Or are you solely relying on your fellow community? It is an interesting thought to look at the advantages and disadvantages of said design. I do feel however that you have covered the main aspects and I look forward to seeing your ideas reflected in your final submission for the module.

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