One day, we’ll prefer LESS floor space and more services

Published on 09/12/19

Today, we communicate differently, we eat differently, and we travel differently…so it’s no surprise that we “live” differently. Whether out of necessity or some sense of an “ideal” life, shared living is increasingly successful. Individuals, developers and in the future manufacturers or suppliers…it seems that everyone can benefit.

1 billion dollars.

That’s how much Quarters, a specialist coliving company, has just raised to expand in Europe. Already present in Berlin, New York and Chicago, the German property giant has built new generation housing in these major cities: coliving buildings.

The idea: private areas (from studio to one room apartment) alongside shared spaces like the laundry, cinema and co-working, as well as offering services such as internet, Netflix, cleaning or even meal deliveries. People like the concept, especially in the big cities where inflated rents erode the available floor space.

Individuals are joining in.

The Wohnproject, completed in 2014, is an 8 storey wooden building, proudly situated in the heart of Vienna. Its peculiarity: each of the 100 residents, as well as owning their own apartment, shares a games room, yoga, sauna, activities room, vegetable patch, laundry, library, car and even guest rooms so they can have friends and family to stay. On paper the original idea was to build a utopia, today, as the awards and prizes show, it is one of the most beautiful examples of shared living in the world. What’s their secret? Without a doubt it’s the intergenerational and intercultural mix. There are working people, retirees, couples, families…they have all made the choice of a shared, fun life together, refusing individualism. That’s also why each resident commits a minimum of 11 hours per month on building upkeep (maintenance, gardening, cooking, etc.).

House sharing ≠ coliving.

Coliving is distinct from house sharing simply because the building is designed for this way of life from the outset. Clearly, people are looking to make the best use of the space to bring together the community. But the concept doesn’t stop at the at the front door. Furniture, electrical appliances as well as services, even dedicated trades (what about shared living concierges or Happiness Managers?) should emerge in the years ahead. So, is coliving a new potential market for service providers and retailers? Why not?

Photo Credits : Quarters, Wohnprojekt