Changing housing needs

Increasing loneliness among the population, housing shortage, a demand for sustainability, but also digital innovations are developments that call for a new perspective on living, working and leisure. Associated cultural changes include more and more digital living, working from home, saving energy but also de-cluttering and the "sharing" culture. People no longer want cupboards full of CDs, their own washing machine and dryer that are only running for a limited time, but Spotify, a shared car and a shared laundry room. Sharing is the new having, leaving space for other things.

The role of the architect

People's housing needs are changing. As architects, we embrace opportunities in the demands for space involved and see great demand for a new form of living: "community living". Community living stands for living and working together, where sharing both the physical and digital world leads to added value. We focus on community living in larger residential buildings, with room for collective indoor and outdoor spaces and (digital) facilities. During our design process, we map out the specific wishes and examine how these can be fitted in spatially and lead to added value.

The target groups

The target groups

We see the demand for community living strongest among target groups that form single-person households. This is a strongly growing group in the Netherlands. It includes, for example, young people between 18 and 30 years and elderly people aged 55+. They do not need their own 80-120m2 home and benefit much more from 35-75m2 housing, enriched with hundreds of square metres to share, of higher standard than if these facilities were private.

This collective way of housing and living has its own new place in the 'housing spectrum'. For example, the independent place after the parental home or the student residence. Independent, but not alone. Sharing facilities leads to an affordable way of living and combats loneliness.

A new way of living and working

Community living is based on a need for a richer and more efficient way of living, besides we see it as a partial solution to the current housing shortage. Collective spaces and facilities save space to tidy, to maintain and to pay for, but above all they are an extension of the space in the home. Sharing spaces makes it possible to enjoy, for example, a shared garden instead of a small balcony. The collective outdoor space has an inviting scale and character, welcoming people from the surrounding area, promoting social cohesion.
Besides the changing perspective on living, there is also a different perspective on work(ing from home) after the pandemic. The standard home is often not equipped for (long-term) working from home.
People experience it as pleasant when there is a certain distance between work and living. More important is the lack of social dynamics when working from home.
A collective workplace near home promotes social cohesion and is an appropriate addition to the home in terms of time use. Being able to work pleasantly closer to home also reduces commuting.
In our 1828 projects, we add co-working functions to the co-living space, creating a dynamic and social place throughout the week.

Tailor-made "from app to city"

Tailor-made "from app to city"

Designing residential buildings is always tailor-made; in the case of a co-living building, this starts with recalibrating the residential programme. As a tool, we have developed a matrix. We redefine housing requirements and wishes at all scales: from app to city.

Housing panel

Housing panel

The recalibration of the residential programme takes place in several steps through a dialogue with a group of future users, so-called 'housing panels'. In the example below, the various ingredients of the community living building are translated into a coherent programme together with the housing panel.

A sense of responsibility is very important for a community living concept. This is because the concept is supported by the degree of (self)management of the residents. To get a better grip on this, the 1828 concept of a " gangmaker" was developed. A gangmaker is a person who looks after the management and safety of the floor like a kind of caretaker. This person can be spoken to or texted if, for example, someone has forgotten their key or a light bulb needs replacing. The gangmaker can then bundle maintenance issues so that similar problems are addressed at the same time and service costs are reduced. See also

participatie sessie

The buildings

Whereas the specific co-living spaces are fully customised, the houses have a high degree of repetition. This has everything to do with making the architectural and installation components affordable. However, this repetition is at odds with location-specific architectural and spatial requirements and wishes. The choice of building system, future-proof/flexibility and the extent of prefabricated elements plays an important role in this.

For now, we see three suitable variants in case of the 1828 sites.

High repetition: fully prefabricated with high repetition; a traditional skeleton with prefabricated finishing or low repetition with high prefabricated finishing.

1828 Gouda - traditional frame, prefabricated finishing

1828 Haarlem - specific shape, high degree of prefabrication

1828 Overveen - fully remountable