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Shared Space: The future belongs to collaborative living

Does the individual need to have EVERYTHING, or is a smart, small “home base” with space and rooms to be rented as needed for specific requirements actually sufficient?

Due to Corona and the effects on home office, requirements for living and working are changing more strongly and quickly than ever before. New, intelligent usage concepts contain solutions for precisely the question posed at the beginning: guest rooms, (roof) gardens, seminar/events rooms and much more are designed right from the start and are then available to the residents when needed.

Everything is there when you really need it

In the future, housing projects will have to take into account that their residents will have significantly higher demands on optional uses: multifunctionality is the big issue here. But not in the form that every residential unit contains EVERYTHING from the outset that might be needed in terms of space at some point in the future. No one will be able or willing to pay for that. But: housing complexes of the future will be prepared to be able to react quickly and flexibly to changes in the housing and living requirements of their users. And this means that the home should be perfectly designed for basic needs like cooking, sleeping, sanitary facilities, etc., but that space should be created in the common room of the house community from the outset, which can then be used according to individual needs. This need can be a seminar room, an extended office for meetings in the home office, space for (private) guests or simply a party room. These are all requirements that can arise spontaneously and selectively; and must be planned accordingly with foresight on the part of a project developer.

Using instead of owning

A groundbreaking example of the realisation of such a “collaborative housing concept” is currently being built in Eggersdorf near Graz. Here, under the name “WIR & CO”, a project adapted to the specific needs of the residents and customised by WEGRAZ is being realised. On a plot of almost 6,500 square metres, there are 33 residential units with a focus on common and shared areas. The collaborative planning phase is particularly noteworthy: even before construction began, different interests of the future users were integrated and opportunities to participate in the design of various topics were offered and used.

It is obvious that projects around “collaborative living” deal strongly with sustainability, natural, healthy and ecological living. The use of environmentally friendly materials plays just as much a role here as intelligent solutions for climate-friendly and efficient energy consumption. The demands on “green architecture” are constantly growing, sometimes even requiring a complete rethink. But in return, completely new possibilities for development in design, materials or building realisation are emerging, which allow sustainable buildings to grow and create space for new, exciting forms of living.