With the rise of individual yet shared living culture, Communal Architecture has lately been one of the things to address this social fabric. In theory, this concept sits in between living in student dormitories and private apartments. In reality, this form of architecture has served to work and has since been popular to bring and create a type of lifestyle and eventually a community.

Below is the list of 10 such examples of Communal Architecture:

1. LT Josai Shared House

Naruse Inokuma Architects from Japan built a “share house” housing strangers which is now a famous way of living in Japan. LT Josai Shared House consists of private and common shared spaces which were placed strategically after studying the building composition in a three-dimension fashion. There are different degrees of comfort and gatherings to more private spaces within this form of communal architecture. 

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LT Josai Shared House ©Masao Nishikawa
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LT Josai Shared House ©Masao Nishikawa
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LT Josai Shared House ©Masao Nishikawa

2. Zeze Osaka

This communal architecture project by SWING mainly focuses on creating a building that takes up less than 100m2 and is still of an abundance yet smooth fit within the neighbourhood. Being a shared house, SWING wanted to stray away from the interior spaces being experienced like it was a studio apartment and opt to explore and consider the use of height to be an important element of Zeze Osaka Coliving House. 

They made the most out of the floor space they have made the shared house a “festive space in everyday life, where the “ordinary and extraordinary” blend into that space having both “individual and common” features”.

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Zeze Osaka ©Eiji Tomita
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Zeze Osaka ©Eiji Tomita
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Zeze Osaka ©Eiji Tomita

3. Treehouse

Bo-Daa designed Treehouse, a co-living apartment house in Seoul consisting of 76 small studios and lofts. The small studios and lofts come in three different sizes of 16.5, 23 and 33 square metres. Bo-Daa too believes that a community is nothing without the individual and that the individual is grounded by their community. 

According to them, Treehouse is designed in a way that “community is not forced but coaxed: each unit is designed for a single person with private bath and kitchenette, and residents only share amenities where larger scale and community make for a better experience”.

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Treehouse ©Bo-Daa
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Treehouse ©Bo-Daa
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Treehouse ©Bo-Daa

4. Three Generation House

Three Generation House by BETA office for architecture and the city accommodates for a couple with children and their parents wanting to live together. This still serves to be a sort of communal architecture as it was designed to have separate accommodations that are only connected by a central yellow staircase. 

The layout of the house was also made to transit from a more intimate space to more open and free space. The upper floors consist of more private spaces for the elderly couple and having the lower floors for the office and living spaces that open to the garden where the children can play. 

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Three Generation House ©Ossip van Duivenbode
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Three Generation House ©Ossip van Duivenbode
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Three Generation House ©Ossip van Duivenbode

5. The Student Hotel Campus Marina Barcelona

Designed by Masquespacio, The Student Campus Marina Barcelona features a co-living and co-working hybrid space in Barcelona. It consists of 500 rooms and houses communal spaces like the swimming pools, gaming rooms, both open and closed seating areas and quiet study rooms. The building was designed in an eclectic style that combines different materials, textures, and colours. 

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The Student Hotel Campus Marina Barcelona ©Luis Beltran
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The Student Hotel Campus Marina Barcelona ©Luis Beltran
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The Student Hotel Campus Marina Barcelona ©Luis Beltran

6. Roam

Alexis Dornier dreams to create space that creates a community. Roam is a part concept that allows its users the opportunity to move between different co-living complexes in the world. Roam is the first two locations opened whilst the other one is in Miami. Roam features a place that gives its users both privacy and a place to gather. 

The space previously served as a boutique hotel which Dornier’s team completely redesigned. The lower floors of Roam consist of the bedrooms, each its private bathrooms and patios whereas the communal spaces such as the sunbathing deck, a café, a wine bar, a restaurant, a lounge, and a yoga area take place on the roof. 

Even though Roam follows closely to most standard co-living models, its concept differs as it offers its occupants a chance to move between properties that are in different parts of the world. Countries like London, Madrid and Buenos Aires will soon have a co-living complex similar to Roam forming a unique and interconnected form of communal architecture.

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Roam ©Alexis Dornier
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Roam ©Alexis Dornier
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Roam ©Alexis Dornier

7. Canvas House 

Canvas House by the Ministry of Design features a mostly white washed space for co-living that occupies a traditional shophouse in Singapore. All space and objects are painted white only leaving small parts of the space or objects unpainted leaving a peek-a-boo to feel to the place. As it occupies a traditional shophouse, it too has vintage furniture pieces that are painted white. 

Instead of refurbishing the whole space, the Ministry of Design decided to keep the vintage pieces as to hint the idea that the traditional shophouses are “repositories of memories with previous lives”. Besides this, modern and contemporary designs such as neon lights were incorporated into the space, treating the line of the past and the present existing in the Canvas House.

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Canvas House ©Edward Hendricks
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Canvas House ©Edward Hendricks
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Canvas House ©Edward Hendricks

8. The Collective Old Oak

The Collective Old Oak is the largest co-living complex that ensures users “everything at their fingertips”. One can say that users of this communal architecture have so many services that they need not leave the building. It consists of 550 bedrooms, a co-working space, a restaurant, gym, cinema, spa, and launderette and in short “every desire of residents can be catered for within one building”. 

PLP Architecture finds that with the concepts of co-living, convenience is of high importance and that it is essential to provide such convenience and efficiency in the places people live.

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The Collective Old Oak ©PLP Architects
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The Collective Old Oak ©PLP Architects
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The Collective Old Oak ©PLP Architects

9. WeLive

WeLive by WeWork a co-working company features a residential space with shared communal spaces. Like their co-working concept of having shared amenities, their co-living concept uses the same rules of having shared space to help reduce costs for residents. 

Apart from this, a spokesperson from WeLive confirms that this concept adds another layer of enabling people to live more fulfilling lives. Focusing on community and functionality, WeLive is a place for sociable and flexible solutions on the market today.

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WeLive ©WeWork
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WeLive ©WeWork
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WeLive ©WeWork

10. New Ground Co-Housing

New Ground Co-Housing is the United Kingdom’s first co-housing complex made for older women residents. It is of a more direct and straightforward communal architecture solution where brick mews houses are placed forming a T-shaped plan around a communal garden and laundry room. This complex consists of 25 private apartments and was made with a clear brief of “sustainable homes with shared facilities that create a sense of community”. 

Users of the building share a meeting room, kitchen, and dining areas. Each of the one-, two- and three-bedroom flats own a balcony and has access to a community garden and craft shed. This form of communal architecture is important as it not only helps with costs, but it too provides a social solution towards loneliness in the elderly. 

Having a co-living project that targets the elderly instead of the usual target audience of young professionals is important, Communal architectures as such can not only solve the tangible problems like money, but it too can reach out to the social fabric of a country.

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New Ground Co-Housing ©Tim Crocker
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New Ground Co-Housing ©Tim Crocker
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New Ground Co-Housing ©Tim Crocker
Author

Currently an architecture student in National University of Singapore (NUS), she wishes to eventually live in a van, swims with whales and delve into different works of arts. An avid learner who strives to be of an all-rounded individual, she too is a lover of words, psychology, and human experiences.

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