co-housing: user, VISITOR, passer by

Designer : Amber Elliot

Winner : Residential Design

This project is Disruptive because of the inventive ways I have designed the public spaces into multiple levels of the complex. The Ivy Resing House and Open Market are interactive public spaces that allow the many users of the building to meet, shop, or have lunch.

Co-housing is often labeled as a radical residential alternative, however, in my project, it is simply intended to serve everyone; such that one does not have to travel far to get food or enjoy nature. This is especially important for older residents; for whom can enjoy a mixed interaction with occupants of other unit types, such as the family units.

Co-housing is defined in this project by the relationship between the resident, visitor, and passer-by. The significant location of the collective is within a modern redevelopment of a historical city; alongside key routes to the new transport links. Using shared terraces, a community garden & growing greenhouse, a local market, and flexible work/live units, there is public space of multiple scales for any demographic.

The residential floor plans boost large units with generous exterior & interior shared space on every floor. The functional lower floors are flexible with minimal divisions to allow future use of the buildings to be adapted with ease.

This project was designed within a real context of a regeneration master-plan to create a Garden City in Brno, Czech Republic.

The site is in Southeast Brno, which is currently a brownfield and deserted park; even though it is only minutes away from the busy historical city.

The targeted users are intended to be anyone, thus the dwellings being defined at co-housing. The name User, Visitor & Passerby explains that all scales of potential users are targeted. This is because as shown, the ground and lower floors are intended for public and semi-public use, such as retail, food commerce, and offices. Above are residential floors and shared terraces, for the users to enjoy together.

The master-plan which the project is within is intended to be developed from 2027 onwards. To illustrate the design, I used Revit to model the building and then Rhino and Lumion.

I think this project is certainly commercially viable due to the countless co-housing projects I visited in Zurich in Switzerland which I drew inspiration from. It serves multiple uses and has a flexible future of adaptation; which I believe shows the sustainability of work+live projects like this, both long and short term.

Due to the in-habitation of the lower floors; which can be rented to small businesses, cafes, restaurants, and offices; this can provide income and benefits to the local economy.

The main concepts which describe the best aspects of my project are;

1. Public elevated community garden and residents growing greenhouse.

2. Shared office floors and rentable meeting rooms.

3. Wild, abundant garden landscape throughout.


The significance of this is shown in the social and economic benefits for the users and residents of the project as well as the wider city.

The greenhouse is for the residents to communally grow vegetables and fruit, as encouraging self-sufficiency with produce greatly enriches the environment and community.

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