You’ve probably all heard of coworking spaces, especially after the whole COVID pandemic, but coliving spaces are also gaining popularity throughout the world. Coliving spaces are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional housing options, offering a sense of community, affordability, and flexibility. As architects design these shared living environments, it is crucial to strike a balance between privacy and community living. In this blog post, we will discuss key design principles for coliving spaces, focusing on how architects can create functional and appealing environments that cater to the diverse needs of their residents.
Space Optimization And Functionality
Efficient space utilization is essential in coliving design, as architects must ensure that residents have sufficient private space while also incorporating shared amenities. Thoughtful space planning and multi-functional furniture can help maximize the available area. For example, the Zoku Loft in Amsterdam features space-saving elements like sliding doors and a retractable staircase, allowing the compact units to accommodate various functions, such as sleeping, working, and socializing.
Balance Between Communal And Private Spaces
Creating a balance between communal and private spaces is vital to promote a sense of community while also respecting individual privacy. Shared areas should be designed to foster social interaction and collaboration, while private spaces should provide a retreat for residents. WeLive, a coliving concept by WeWork, exemplifies this balance by offering communal kitchens, lounges, and coworking spaces, while providing residents with private bedrooms and bathrooms.
Natural Light And Ventilation
Incorporating natural light and ventilation into coliving spaces not only improves the well-being of residents but also enhances the aesthetic appeal of the space. Prioritizing window placement and incorporating skylights or light wells can create a brighter and healthier living environment. In The Collective Old Oak in London, large windows and an atrium design allow natural light to flood both private and communal spaces, creating a welcoming atmosphere.
Flexibility And Adaptability
Coliving spaces should be designed with flexibility in mind to accommodate the changing needs of residents. Movable walls, modular furniture, and adaptable floor plans can make it easier for residents to personalize their living spaces. In New York City, Carmel Place by nARCHITECTS features micro-apartments with transformable furniture and adjustable layouts, allowing residents to tailor their space according to their preferences.
Sustainability And Eco-Friendly Design
Incorporating sustainable design elements into coliving spaces can not only reduce the environmental impact but also create a healthier and more cost-effective living environment. Utilizing eco-friendly materials, energy-efficient systems, and green design strategies can help achieve these goals. For example, ROOST Apartment Hotel in Philadelphia incorporates green roofs, rainwater harvesting, and a focus on energy efficiency, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability in coliving design.
Accessibility And Inclusivity
Creating accessible and inclusive coliving spaces is essential to ensure that they cater to people with diverse needs and abilities. Architects should consider incorporating universal design principles, such as wider doorways, accessible bathrooms, and adjustable countertops, to accommodate seniors, people with disabilities, and families with young children. An example of an inclusive coliving space is K9 in Stockholm, Sweden, which is designed with accessibility in mind and offers a mix of apartment types to suit various household sizes and needs.
Biophilic Design Elements
Incorporating biophilic design elements, which emphasize the connection between humans and nature, can enhance the well-being of residents and create a more pleasant living environment. This can be achieved by integrating greenery, natural materials, and outdoor spaces into the coliving design. For instance, the Tree House coliving space in Los Angeles features an abundance of indoor plants, a rooftop garden, and natural materials like wood and stone, creating a serene atmosphere for its residents.
Smart Technology Integration
The integration of smart technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) can improve the coliving experience and streamline the management of shared spaces. By implementing smart lighting, climate control, and access systems, architects can enhance comfort, convenience, and security for residents. Quarters, a coliving company with locations in Europe and the United States, incorporates smart technology into its spaces, allowing residents to control lighting, temperature, and access to their rooms via a smartphone app.
The Wrap Up
By incorporating these additional design principles, architects can create coliving spaces that are even more functional, appealing, and inclusive. As the coliving trend continues to gain momentum, it is crucial for architects to consider these factors in their designs, creating environments that cater to the diverse needs of their residents while fostering a sense of community and well-being.