Coliving and construction adapted to new forms of sociability

Coliving seems to be on the rise and that is why we have to take into account aspects within construction when adapting spaces.

In this article we will talk in general about what is coliving, its advantages, disadvantages and adaptations when building.


What is coliving?

Coliving is a new trend that is causing quite a stir in the housing world.

Essentially, coliving is living with other people in the same building or complex. You will have your own private space but at the same time share common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, etc.

This way of living has been around for a long time, but has only recently become popular thanks to technological advances (such as smartphones and social media) and the needs of new ways of living and working.


History of coliving

Coliving is not just a trend. It is a way of life. The idea that people can live together in a community and share their resources has been around not decades but centuries.

Although coliving has only recently become fashionable, its roots go back much further than you might think.

The first example of modern coliving came with the rise of co-housing communities in Denmark during the 1970s, just before they became popular in Italy (1986), Germany (1989) and the United States (1990).
This type of housing was also very popular in Japan during World War II, because families could no longer afford housing costs on their own due to inflation rates rising faster than wages.


What is living in a coliving?

As the name of this type of housing suggests, it is a new way of living in community.

When you live in coliving, you share a home with people who share your interests and passions, people who have similar lifestyles and ideals to you.

Coliving is an alternative to traditional housing or flat living that allows you to connect with others who can share your goals and aspirations on a deeper level than just being roommates or building mates.

You will find yourself living alongside your peers in an inspiring environment that gives you the space to work on your goals while gaining exposure to new things and meeting people from different walks of life.


Pros and cons of coliving

Like almost everything else in life, coliving has a number of advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss below.

Some of the advantages are:

  • You have more social interaction and create a community, which can make you feel more fulfilled as a person.
  • You also save money on rent, as you share expenses with other people, which can make it cheaper than living alone.

However, coliving also has some disadvantages:

  • There is less privacy and less space per person (which can be good or bad depending on your personality).
  • You have to adapt to the customs of the community or at least to the common ones.

But if you like to have company all the time, then coliving might be right for you.


How to adapt buildings to a new way of living in coliving?

Adapting a building to the needs of coliving residents requires planning for a number of variables.

Converting existing buildings to coliving has its challenges, but new buildings also present challenges.

Here are some very important ones to consider:

  • Designate spaces for private activities, social activities and work-related tasks.
  • Plan shared spaces that can be used by several people at any one time, rather than rooms being reserved only for specific functions.
  • Facilitate access to common areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. The ideal coliving space would allow residents to move freely between their personal space and common areas without having to go outside or through other buildings in the complex.
  • Create opportunities for natural light in public areas so that these places are more welcoming than dark basements or gloomy corridors.
  • Create common spaces that promote equality between individuals in the community.

To do this you will need to think about how people will eat, work and interact in the space.

For example, some coliving communities have a large kitchen table where residents can sit together for breakfast or dinner; others have designated rooms for residents working together on projects.


The differences between a coliving space and traditional housing complexes

Coliving spaces are not the same as traditional housing complexes.

The difference lies in the purpose of each space.

Coliving spaces are designed to facilitate interactions between residents, whereas traditional housing complexes are more concerned with providing a safe and comfortable space for people who have their own privacy needs.

If you want your coliving experience to be more like your home, you will need to understand and accept its differences from what you are used to.


It’s all about community

So how do we make coliving work for us?

  • First of all, know what your values are. You should be aware of the type of community you want to live in before moving into a coliving space. For example, if you want to share common interests with other people and be part of a like-minded community that encourages growth and development of each of you as an individual, it may not be for you, but if this is what appeals to you most, it is for you.
  • Secondly, choose your partners carefully. For everyone to feel safe and comfortable sharing your home with others on a daily basis, you have to trust each other implicitly; otherwise, conflicts could quickly arise (which could lead back to point number 1). It is also important that everyone has similar goals when moving into coliving, as this will allow you to spend time together and, at the same time, maintain some sense of privacy since there is understanding.



Coliving is a way of life that is not for everyone but that is totally valid in today’s society and almost everywhere in the world. That is why new constructions and technologies are adapted to this way of living that is increasingly present in society.

More posts

Living in Mobile Homes: Innovation and comfort in the same space
Alubuild® achieves DIT Plus certification
Architecture and Cinema: a visual dialogue
Beyond Riken Yamamoto: 5 Japanese Pritzker Prize-winning architects