“Co-space is here to stay,” says Dezeen editor-in-chief Amy Frearson, who co-authored a design guide to shared living spaces called All Together Now. Here she selects the seven most inventive projects from the book.
From multigenerational housing to alternative models of student life, it contains detailed case studies of all shapes and sizes, along with practical advice for designers.
Frearson hopes the book will show how much space there is for living and working together “not just for millennials” and that they can offer benefits to people of all ages and backgrounds.
“Living together offers very real solutions to the problems many of us face today, from rising real estate prices to chronic loneliness,” she explained.
“Sharing our living spaces doesn’t have to mean compromising privacy, comfort or property; it can actually offer us more choice and flexibility, allowing us to live more efficiently, healthily and sustainably.”
Frearson added that the book’s theme is more appropriate than ever in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many people to stay home and work remotely, resulting in a greater demand for physical togetherness.
“I believe common spaces have the power to transform the way we live together after the Covid-19 pandemic,” she concluded.
“As the definitions of‘ home ’and‘ workplace ’become increasingly blurred, there is an unprecedented demand for spaces where people can gather to share experiences and resources,” Frearson added.
“Co-space is here to stay; now is the time to define how we design it.”
Read about Frearson’s seven best life together projects from the book:
Student Hotel Florence Lavagnini, Archea Associati and Rizoma Architettura, Italy
“This is a model for the future of student life. By allowing student buildings to duplicate themselves as hotels, the Student Hotel can offer students high-quality living spaces and flexible contracts.
“Not only does it make the model more accessible, but it creates vibrant communal spaces where students, tourists and locals gather.”
Tenants of Wilmotte & Associés and Cutwork, France
“This project explores new typologies of furniture that are better suited to living together. Examples include a modular sofa consisting of nine different elements that can be combined in different ways to suit different activities.
“These elements can be arranged like traditional soda and armchairs, but they can also be organized on islands, so that different activities can be adapted at the same time.”
Italian building Stiff + Trevillion and Studio Clement, Great Britain
“This project shows how a community for living together can be built around a certain way of life. In the Italian building, run by the operator for living together Mason & Fifth, the spaces are designed and programmed around wellness.
“Tenants gather for fitness classes and healthy meals, and their environment is designed with the same ethos.”
LifeX Classen, LifeX, Denmark
“LifeX has raised new heights at a flat rate. Residents can live in nicely furnished apartments without the hassle of buying furniture, finding roommates or signing long-term contracts.
“As the company has properties in various cities across Europe, residents can even arrange exchanges with other residents, allowing them to travel without the stress of arranging accommodation.”
House of three generations, BETA, The Netherlands
“A multi-generational house is not much smarter than this one. This five-story building is designed in a way that allows it to change its configuration smartly because its tenants need to change over time.
“It is currently divided into two residences – one for the couple and their children and the other for their parents – but it can easily be turned into one house or further divided.”
Humanitas Deventer, Hotel Netherlands
“One of the most inspiring examples of multi-generational life, this nursing home in the Netherlands offers free accommodation to students.
“In return, it asks them to spend dedicated time each week with older residents. This creates a mutually beneficial setting in which different generations are able to support each other and learn from the experiences of others.”
Mokrin House by Autori, Serbia
“Thanks to changes in technology, we can now live and work anywhere, hence the advent of digital nomadic culture. The Mokrin House shows how this new culture can inject life into areas that were otherwise in social and economic decline.
“Set as a live / work haven, it offers locals and facilities as well as paying visitors.”