Visit a cohousing project —Lancaster cohousing scheme

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Source: Author’s Own

The best way to understand a new thing is the visit site. In this term, we conduct the cohousing project design. After the teacher introduced the design concept of cohousing, we had a field trip to the cohousing community of Lancaster. Which located in Halton beside river Lune. It’s called Fragebank and it is a cohousing project of private houses, common house, work shop, studios and shared outdoor space.

Cohousing is a new type of residence development form, which well combines the private residence with the advantages of sharing public facilities, and strengthens the neighboring relation (McCamant and Durrett 2011). The purpose of such cooperative neighborhoods is to organize and manage the social interaction and individual space by the residents themselves in a planned manner.

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Source: Author’s Own

Lancaster cohousing project is a good example for this. First, this project provides many residence forms for different groups of people to select, it have 1 bed flats, 2 bed and 3bed houses. And all houses are distributed on both sides of the main sidewalk, and the internal structure of the house is reasonable to maximize the utilization of space. One of the characteristics of cohousing is to move the same family living facilities to the common house, for example, to establish a public storage room, laundry and guest house, which reduces the space occupancy within the private house, saves space and energy. In order to maintain a stability and good horizon, the back of the house faces the river bank, making people better enjoy the living space and feel a good outdoor environment.

Common house

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Source: Author’s Own

The common house is in the center of the site, which is helpful for the residents to visit the public facilities. Interestingly, it divides the kitchen area and storage house, management room and children’s room into two, respectively distributed on both sides of the main street of the community, and both sides are connected through the application of ground materials. Also there added a transparent canopy, making it more beneficial for the connection of two spaces. The sidewalk in the middle is the inevitable road for most of the residents in daily life, and this will encourages people to go out of their private space and participate in the community activity. The common house is mainly consists of the large public kitchen and dining area, and there is public community terrace outside, where can enjoy the scenery of river side. By the way, we are allowed to use the common kitchen to made food together in the lunch time,this was a very good experience, making us feel how people lived and communicate in the cooperative community.

Work shop

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Source: Author’s Own

There is a big work shop located in the entrance of the community which have carpenter room, art room and other various rooms of different functions in the studio, and it provides computer, machine and other public facilities. This studio encourages the exchange of resources, facilities and ideas, and provides the community residents with more community activities, thus enriching the residents’ life and strengthening the community interaction.

This project is a cutting-edge example of sustainable design and living, which will encourage other sustainable community development as an implementation example and inspiration, and will connect other communities to drive the surrounding communities to establish a sustainable living environment together.

Reference:

Cohousing and Community, Creating Co-housing, McCamant, Durrett 2011

Lancaster Cohousing  http://www.lancastercohousing.org.uk/

Cohousing    http://www.cohousing.org/

Figure 1,Figure 2,Figure 3,Figure 4: Author’s Own

 

 

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