What Is Cohousing?

Although the origin of collaborative housing (cohousing) dates back to the 60’s, there are still many social stigmas regarding what Cohousing is.

Especially since this concept seeks to overcome the alignments of modern homes and many other architectural or housing parallels.

Cohousing emerged to break molds and schemes. Especially, because it masterfully combines the autonomy of private and independent housing, with endless privileges anchored to community comforts.

Unlike what many think, collaborative housing facilitates interaction, relationships and coexistence among all its members.

This not only generates stronger human bonds, but also fosters an environment of brotherhood and union much more comfortable.

Join us to know what housing is, what its advantages are and why it is a model that has managed to overcome the ravages of time with so much roots.

What Is Cohousing?

If you live in Spain you have probably asked yourself that question at least once in your life.

But you should still familiarize yourself with the concept, since it is expected that this model could gain more strength and popularity in the country in the immediate future.

In essence, Cohousing refers to cohousing; a type of collaborative housing that challenges the compartmentalization of current housing.

The philosophy behind this housing model has profound socio-cultural implications. Partly because it tries to leave behind the apathy that some owners might experience (living in very independent houses).

Cohousing seeks that neighbors form bonds, develop relationships of trust in the long term, and take advantage of all the benefits of living collectively.

Although certainly this housing model is not suitable, or pleasant for everyone, it is undeniable that it has more and more supporters in certain locations in Europe (including Spain).

The Origin Of Cohousing

But how did this idea of collaborative housing originate? His story began to be written in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the 70’s.

In fact, records reveal that the first community of this type was built in 1972 and its purpose was to house about 27 families.

The success of this approach made many people begin to wonder what Cohousing is. But it also raised its interest on a collective scale and soon enhanced its appeal.

From that moment the model of collaborative housing began to be replicated at a considerable rate in other countries of the European continent.

Some called the individuals who lived in these communes “hippies”, but the truth is that Cohousing had nothing to do with this.

From the beginning this concept has been framed in a series of very particular and differential principles.

Likewise, it has had a very clear objective since its origins: to stop conceiving life from an eminently individualistic perspective.

For what reason? With the aim of promoting the terms of participation and collectivity, and also with the purpose of overcoming the traditionalist economic system that puts the magnifying glass on individuality.

Features Of This Model

These are some of the characteristics of this model Would you like to know what Cohousing is in a pleasant and simple way? Then pay attention to the following sections:

  1. The spatial conception of cohousing advocates a private space with very extensive common areas.
  2. The community that decides to inhabit these collaborative spacesshares a higher interest: that of radically changing their lifestyle.
  3. The process or development of these homes is 100% voluntary and participatory. So individuality and taxation do not prevail.
  4. The design of a Cohousing project gives priority to coexistence and mutual support. The ultimate goal is to strengthen socialization processes.
  5. The common spaces of a cohousing are designed for its inhabitants to share care and recreation activities.
  6. Cohousing does not suppress autonomy. You will live with other people, you will have neighbors and you will share spaces, but you will still have your private and independent areas.
  7. Hierarchies in Cohousing have no place. Instead, efforts focus on creating participatory environmentsso that all members have decision-making power.

Expansion Of Cohousing Around The World

Cohousing originates from Denmark and the Netherlands. That is why it has successfully settled in these regions for years.

Currently, at least 1% of the Danish population lives in cohousing, according to a major study released at the International Seminar on Research in Urbanism.

A large part of the Danish Cohousings are located on the outskirts of the cities and are characterized by having a house in the center, which is used for dining, playing or other community activities.

They are usually comprised of 15 or 30 buildings and adopt the so-called “village typology”.

While Swedish cohousing is usually more urban and exhibits a more vertical architectural design.

Similarly, it should be mentioned that this model of collaborative housing also began to spread to a couple of North American countries, such as the United States and Canada, in the 80’s.

Kathryn Mc Caman and Charles Durret were the architects in charge of coining the English term “Cohousing”, to refer to this peculiar residential formula.