Portfolio Project Detail

THE COMMON Namitha Jalori and Niusha Arndt

Coliving is intential. It is a community of people with shared intentions living together. Each person has their own private living unit connected by a shared space that comprises of a living, dining and kitchen. Coliving existed in history in various forms, but with increasing rents and the rise of a new social structure, coliving became one of the popular solutions. However, we are yet to strike the right balance of efficiency and affordability in the coliving space.

This project aims to provide a space for a multi-generational demographic, bringing people from all walks of life together. Although as per a recent survey, aiming to get insights about the future of coliving, reported: Families want house members from all walks of life and prefer other families, couples with children in the coliving community. Whereas, Seniors prefer other seniors, single men/ women and couples in their community. This project tries to create a fine balance between the unconventional living scenarios.

The strategy is to achieve 68 units on the linear site. The site is currently zoned under R6 (Max FAR 2.43) and C1-6A (residential equivalent R7A). Design to utilize the 100% residential FAR of R7A with max FAR 3.44 and utilize the additional FAR incentive by incorporating Community Facilities and FRESH zoning. The zoning and building setback requirements limit density, the challenge is to achieve max density and yet maintain efficiency for individual units.

With community use inclusions and shared spaces, the aim of the design is to achieve a good balance and distinction between public and private areas. The base of the building is distinctly public with community spaces such as – the building is lifted on stilts to open the ground level to public market and pedestrian plaza. The current community studio and mutli-purpose event zone will be relocated to the level above and will their current function. The floors above will be open to a daycare center, library and gym. These provisions were made ensuring that the development is adding value to the immediate neighborhood and is based on the needs of the Community District 2 as stated in their most recent memorandum.

Communal Kitchen
Every independent unit have shared kitchenettes that will be shared by housemates and a shared communal kitchen for the entire development for all residents to come together. The communal kitchen will also host community food events and engage residents in activities to serve in local food generation.

Shared bathroom with multi-stall will be at a 4:1 serving the 16 bunk style living units. Whereas bathrooms in the larger units with independent beds will have a 2:1 provision.

Community and Shared spaces
A bed, independent living space and bathroom makes the “Unit”. Shared space is made up of a living, dining and kitchen space. 2 or more Units together around a shared space makes an apartment. Common/Shared space is provided at a 32 sft per person basis or 180 sft per cluster (apartment with 2 units).

The proposed co-living model aims to achieve the right balance of efficiency and affordability along with a distinction between public, shared and private areas while creating a community. Privacy is still a necessity no matter the changing social structure. The new co-living model strives to be more personal and adaptable to every situation.

House Rules
Members to share equal ownership of the house
Sharing internet, self-sustainable garden and utilities
Private room is off-limits when not home
New house-members will not be selected by a consensus vote
Pay energy costs based on the amount of energy used per person

Finally, a successful Co-living strategy is all about efficiency. By reducing every spare sft from bedrooms and adding it to common living areas. Residents want to spend more time in community or shared spaces than in their bedrooms. To achieve maximum density and affordability, efficiency in space design is key to maintain a small footprint and reduce construction costs.