Re: Common House Design Workshop
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 00:32:37 -0700 (PDT)
I can't begin to describe how important it is to think through Common House 
design and elements.Grace was our architect at Daybreak Cohousing and the level 
of attention we and she gave tothe Common House is benefiting our community in 
measurable ways every day.

> From: grace [at]
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2012 00:17:09 -0700
> Subject: [C-L]_ Common House Design Workshop
> Common House Design...requires special consideration.
> As the living room for the community, the Common House sets the initial 
> impression for visitors about what cohousing is, what your community
> values might be, or the perceived benefits of living in community.
> Here are a couple of tips to consider:
> Seating
> Select a single style of dining chair - one that is comfortable, attractive, 
> easy to maintain, and ideally stackable. A commercial grade chair should be 
> selected over a residential grade to ensure durability and ability to 
> withstand long term use - Ikea chair looks great but will need to be replaced 
> in a year or two. However, this is not an excuse to disregard design - 
> Rubbermaid folding chairs are durable and inexpensive, but do little to 
> enhance the sense of home or community.
> Lighting
> Quality lighting can enhance the sense of community and encourage intimate 
> conversation during common meals. Provide pendants over each table to provide 
> flexible lighting - install dimmer switch to increase light levels for table 
> setting and cleanup as well as a softer light level for dining. Additionally, 
> provide brighter ambient fixtures around perimeter or above to provide 
> overall illumination for sweeping fl oors or general meetings. Provide a 
> third level of lighting to serve as a night light for those who enter the 
> dining room at night and require a minimal amount of light to navigate the 
> room.
> I have analyzed scores of common houses in Denmark and North America to 
> discern what works and doesn't work. Following Christopher Alexander's 
> concept of Pattern Language, I have thoroughly documented the necessary 
> programmatic and design elements for a successful Common House. If you are in 
> a forming community ready to start design, or if you are unhappy with the 
> current functionality of your common house, I invite you to join me in a 
> pre-conference workshop focusing on Common House Design at the upcoming 
> National Cohousing Conference.  Workshop is June 15, 1:15-5pm.  
> If you won't be attending the conference, you can obtain a copy of my book 
> Designing the Cohousing Common House ($45 plus shipping).  The table of 
> Contents can be found here. 
> grace h. kim | schemata workshop inc.
> aia, principal architect
> 206.285.1589
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