Re: Models of cohousing -stretching the boundaries of the book definition
From: Bruce Koller (
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 11:12:04 -0500
On Thu, 25 Apr 1996, Rob Sandelin (Exchange) wrote:

  One interesting
> idea I heard about the other day was a retro fit project where a large
> house was remodelled around a central kitchen and dining/lounge, with
> bedrooms and bathrooms and sitting rooms radiating off the central core,
> each of the 5 roomlets was separated from the central "commonroom" by a
> door.  What was interesting was that the residents planning this were
> going to share ownership as a condo, with the condo defined as a roomlet
> and one fifth of the commonspaces!  
> Now, this particular idea seemed to my perspective to be a unique, but
> replicable form of  small scale cohousing. They used a participatory
> design process, have private ownership of "units" , share ownership of
> commons, make decisions democratically, share meals in the "commonroom",
> etc.  It seemed to meet any definition of cohousing I could think up.
While I certainly agree with you that retro-fit is great, I would not 
call the above situation cohousing, given the shared kitchen.  It falls 
closer to what I would call a shared household or shared living 
situation.  When individual units are completely self-sufficient and  
of the common kitchen and dining space are voluntary and as desired by 
individuals, you have a slightly different beast, IMHO.  I'm not saying that 
the above situation is bad.  I guess this point is important to me 
because I love cohousing because of the voluntary aspect of 
participating in the common meals and the situation you describe doesn't 
seem to have that option.

Bruce Koller
Late of Old Oakland Cohousing
Still dazed and confused after moving into Muir Commons two weeks ago

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.