Possible cohousing design features. As of October 2017 Bassett Creek Cohousing has not built any housing and has not decided on a site or a design. Tho we have a preliminary design. Below are images of built cohousing communities from which we might draw design inspiration.
Cohousing communities vary in density depending on the size of the site while still having 20-30 units. This greatly effects possible designs.
Layouts vary from:
1) On 2+ acres. Townhouse-like ("turned inside out" - cars on the edge) on sites with enough land. These are most common in the US.
2) On .5 acres or less. Apartment buildings ( with double-loaded corridors - apartments on both sides of hallway ) typically with with common space on the first floor. Some have significanly enlarged hallways with features to make them more social.
An in between density layout can be achieved on about 1 acre in a
couple different ways.
3) Stacked single level flats with single-loaded corridor - only has rooms on one side) overlooking courtyard. An elevator may serve all corridors.
4) Units off an atrium, also known as a glass covered street or around a smaller courtyard. Of course there are variations of these. Some designs combine apartment style with some townhouse like units, for example.
(click on images for larger view)
Jamaica Plain Cohousing, Boston, Massachusetts is and example of type 3). It has all units on 3 levels around a modest courtyard.
All units face the courtyard (no internal hallway). Instead they are connected with a walkway above and overlooking the courtyard.
There is an elevator in the common house so the walkways at all levels make all units wheelchair visitable.
Two Canadian communities with glass covered streets - type 4) are --
Pacific Gardens and Windsong
Windsong's glass covered street has even more exposure.