Cohousing Oorsterkade NL

Groningen / Netherlands / 2016

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Together but with privacy


The commissioner of this project took the initiative to start a joint project with a group of friends. Most of them are seniors and they are convinced that this way of living gives them many benefits. Not only the cost reduction is an interesting issue, but the vitality that the group arouse is also very important in this phase of their lives.


This form of project, where the same group of residents takes the initiative, is internationally called cohousing. The group determines where, how and with who wants to live (without any intermediaries). The group becomes its own project developer. However, because the method is complex, we had offered the experience, knowledge and tools to make this good idea come true. We shared all the design process together.


In a cohousing project the group itself decides which areas will be shared. In this case the owners have decided to share the following spaces:


- Library meeting room


- Workshop


- Lodging unit


- Gym


- Sauna


- Laundry facilities


- General storage


- Garden


- Roof terrace


Apart from these shared areas, there are six autonomous and private apartments. Privacy is not incompatible with cohousing, otherwise. The individual homes were custom-made to the users. Their own house was designed by him and for him. The combination of social-private in such a project is perfect in balance, sometimes you would like to be quiet at home ... if not, you always have friends next to you.


The building is robust and of simple geometry, such as the dock buildings on the nearby water context. The main entrance of the building is on a 2m wide side passage. The steel fence was  inspired by the old cranes of the quayside. In the middle of this small private passage comes the real front door. Hall, elevator and a glass bricks staircase are found there. The composition of the façade is an harmonious collage, that shows the different wishes of the residents. It is a combination of balconies, windows, bay windows and corner windows in a pre-planned mix.


The chosen materials fit well with the quay location. The brickwork is a combination of the existing bricks of the entire block: yellow, bronze, brown and red colored. Aluminum dark gray frames are used in all floors with special attention to insulation, three layers of glass. Fences of hard glass disappear in the windows.

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    Together but with privacy The commissioner of this project took the initiative to start a joint project with a group of friends. Most of them are seniors and they are convinced that this way of living gives them many benefits. Not only the cost reduction is an interesting issue, but the vitality that the group arouse is also very important in this phase of their lives. This form of project, where the same group of residents takes the initiative, is internationally called cohousing. The group...

    Project details
    • Year 2016
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Apartments
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