I’ve had an interest in cohousing for many years – both as a personal interest and a professional interest as an architect. Cohousing is a fantastic model of housing that is socially, environmentally and financially sustainable. I followed the progress of Springhill Cohousing in Stroud as the group developed and the buildings appeared. A few years later I joined Architype (UK), the architects for the project. I became very familiar with the project and on occasion, I even took prospective clients around Springhill.
On Friday the 28th of July, I attended an introduction to cohousing in Wellington City Library. It was presented by Robin Allison, one of the founders of Earthsong Eco Neighbourhood in Ranui, Auckland. There are lots of lovely similarities between Springhill and Earthsong!
Robin first gave an overview of Earthsong and then went on to introduce the general principles of cohousing. The principles are briefly as follows:
Robin showed an excerpt from The NZ Home Episode 6 that featured Earthsong – it’s worth a watch (it starts at 37 minutes) to get thoroughly inspired!
Another exciting project is the High Street Cohousing in Dunedin. It’s been designed by my friends at Architype (NZ) and construction should be underway in 2017. I’m especially excited about this project because, in addition to being cohousing, all the houses have been designed to meet the international Passive House standard. This seems like a perfect match to me!
As you can imagine, I would love to design a Passive House Cohousing project. If you’re in the Wellington region and planning a cohousing project, please get in touch.
Not all cohousing is suburban like Earthsong. In this TED talk, a Canadian architect shares her experience of designing, living and working in a cohousing apartment block.
And finally, here are some photos from the VIA architecture Instagram that were taken at the introduction:
Inspired? Curious? Is cohousing for you? Let me know what you think.
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