Community-Driven Architecture

SHARING - New ways of Living

The co-living and living space sharing movement evolves out of the desire of young professionals to live in a community with other creatives and innovators in a world based on sharing and working together, without borders of either time or space. (Ryan Fix, founder of Pure House co-living, New York)


Construction is undergoing major upheavals as it transitions from housing to new systems of co-housing in contemporary cities in Italy and, more generally, across Europe. This trend underwent a rapid acceleration in the mid-1990s, highlighting a cultural shift from a period of housebuilding that consumed large swathes of territory to one that is imbued with a new awareness of contemporary living.


The concept of co-working – one that is evolving into co-living – is an expression of a generation of professionals, creatives and freelancers whose careers are global, who delay starting a family, and who are keener on accessing goods and services than actually owning them. Their lives revolve around flexibility, a search for a different work/life balance and, above all, a renewed desire for community, openness and exchange.


In answer to this demand, private individuals, builders and developers have begun to invest in designing multifunction complexes and refurbishing existing properties characterized by a blend of public and private space and a more streamlined management model that envisages flexible short-term rentals and all-inclusive rates with utilities, training, services and shared activities all part of the deal.


These new types of “hybrid” buildings are putting community wellbeing and needs at the heart of the design process, conceived as they are for groups of socially-aware people who share common practices and values such as a desire to pursue an eco-friendly and cooperation-led concept of quality of life.

The Singapore project is not an isolated example. Indeed, the bicycle has become vital to new eco-conscious approaches to living. In Malmo, Sweden, the Hauschild + Siegel Studio is working for developers Cykelhuset Ohboy on a residential building designed to answer to the needs of residents who do not own a car but prefer two-wheeled transport to get around town.

The complex has no garages for cars. Transit spaces, doorways and lifts are all plus-sized, making it possible to easily drive bicycles and cargo bikes, which are very popular in Northern European countries.

The building not only dispenses with car garages but, in addition to offering outdoor bike parking, the living units themselves are designed with space for bicycles. To make it easy to get about, transit spaces, doorways and lifts are all plus-sized, making it possible to relatively easily maneuver bicycles and cargo bikes, which are very popular in Northern European countries for carrying children, shopping or other types of more cumbersome load, and to bring them into the home to easily unload anything they may be carrying.

This has resulted in a number of technical modifications including, for example, double doors on the lifts so that bikes always face in the right direction, and the use of cement finishing on the walls of common spaces and apartments because they are longer-lasting and easier to clean, minimizing maintenance costs. The round windows in the prospect are a metaphorical reference to bicycle wheels, which have become a formal and expressive element of inspiration.

As well as access to annual technical assistance service for their bikes, residents also enjoy a subscription to a bike-sharing service, plus access to bikes for guests and car sharing should they need a car.