18 June 2012

Co-Housing Project for a Philadelphia Neighborhood

Here it is... my final studio project at Drexel. This project was interesting and educational as well as fun to shepherd through the design process. Now we are on to thesis, my last project before being handed a piece of paper with those long sought after words, "Bachelor of Architecture." Stay tuned for a new series of posts related to the thesis project. Until then, I hope you enjoy this Co-Housing project located on Spruce and Juniper Streets, Philadelphia, PA.

Cohousing, an alternative form of "intentional community," was started in Denmark in the early 1970's. It combines the privacy of ones own residence with the convenience and communality of shared facilities - a communal dining room, children's play areas, workshops, meeting/living room and laundry room. Although the houses operate as self sufficient units, the shared areas are integral to the concept of community and cooperation.

A Cohousing community enables people of different generations and backgrounds to share their experiences, provide residents with a safety net and share a sense of family. These communities are created to encourage the extended family and neighbors helping neighbors.

Such a community also affords the individual the privacy to which we have all become accustomed and the financial benefits of home ownership while being part of a larger unit. Participants in a cohousing development take an active role in the creation of their community. Social interaction is a primary component; creating a sustainable environment, an artist community, a child-oriented community, a service oriented community, or a combination of these, are often goals. Successful communities are usually started by a core of people who choose to live in such a community, rather than by developers who want to sell their housing units.

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