|higher density cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Grace Kim (graceschemataworkshop.com)|
|Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 21:48:16 -0800 (PST)|
Lion- I think you're asking some good questions. Many people I've met both in the US and Denmark started off looking for urban locations and while quite happy with their resulting community, they feel as if they have "settled" for a suburban or rural location. There are not many urban or large projects to hold up as examples. And likely for a reason...it might not work. While I am an urban dweller myself, and a firm proponent of cohousing, I don't know that large communities in a high rise would work so well. The problem is that people drive into the parking garage and take the elevator up to their floor (perhaps w/ a quick stop at the mailboxes) and then into their units. There is limited opportunity for informal interactions. Perhaps if a high rise was divided up into 5 floors to define a "subgroup" and mail delivery for this subgroup occurred on a "common house" level w/ a shared kitchen/dining facility it might work. But I don't know of a US example of this. The latest real estate phenomena has been the return to high rise condos w/ cohousing-type amenities such as a large "club room/party room", guest suites, conference room, roof deck, hobby rooms, fitness room, etc. Living in one myself (closest thing we could find to urban cohousing in Seattle for the moment) I know that it can work and people value these amenities, but we have no sense of community (primarily because as a whole, the residents of our 170 unit building did not purchase w/ the INTENTION to live in community. We find community with our neighbors, but we make a concerted effort to do this. A great North American example (but not the density you are talking about) is Quayside Village in Vancouver, BC. It's a 5 story mixed use building near a neighbor commercial center. It felt very urban, the common house was very effectively used (all functions occurred on main level where residents entered) and had a strong sense of communitas. The Swedish highrise (actually it's a mid-rise I think about 10 floors) that was mentioned is about 84 units. Their common house is located on the 5th floor. Dorit Fromm's book Collaborative Communities (Van Nostrand Reinhold: 1991) has a good description of it as well as floor plans. In fact her book has a number of higher density/midrise examples in Sweden (see p.76 of book for a list - it indicates communities with up to 290 and 328 units, and several in the 100's). Tinggaarden in Denmark has several hundred units in the 2 phases of the project - but I believe that they broke down the scale of the community by having subgroups w/ separate common houses. But this is not a high rise or urban example. So that's enough babbling. If you want to talk more, feel free to contact me off-line. grace h. kim, aia principal schemata workshop an architectural collaborative 159 western ave west, #483 seattle, wa 98119 v.206.285.1589 f.206.285.2701 www.schemataworkshop.com
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