The Great Australian dream of owning a quarter-acre block is incompatible with our need to densify and keep up with population growth. Capital cities across Australia are running out of large parcels of land to accommodate the desire for detached single-family homes, while low housing supply has contributed to prices running so high that they are now impossible to reach for the average Australian family.
Meanwhile, this dream has contributed to us living farther and farther apart, increasing feelings of loneliness and isolation in our cities, and the associated physical and mental health impacts.
Building connected and vibrant communities are now top of mind when planning a resilient future for our cities. We need to transform our suburb landscape from one of large, isolated, blocks of single homes, to connected, vibrant urban neighbourhoods at appropriate levels of density.
The Urban Cohousing Model is a new model for urban housing that applies the principles of the cohousing movement into a higher density, apartment housing model.The central Common House lies at the heart of the community , and provides a large shared communal space with a larger kitchen, dining area and cinema room. These shared spaces are a sanctuary from the tight quarters of apartment living, encourage neighbours to meet and interact, join in events and celebrations, and watch children play and grow up together with shared supervision and childcare.
The Urban Cohousing Model is a middle ground between single homes and dense high rise apartments, and a possible solution for appropriately densifying our middle-ring suburbs and building connected urban communities
The Urban Cohousing Model was our entry in the Victorian Governments Future Homes Competition in 2020. The design brief for Future Homes asked for high quality apartments that people want to live in. This means Future Homes will deliver apartments that are better homes, better neighbours and better for the environment.
The competition entry was developed in collaboration with Antoniades Architects.