It is a concept of reducing the unit size since it is critical for enhancing affordability. By smaller apartments the designers can create more total apartments than they normally would and more total units means more affordability for cities. Here the basic amenities are mainly shared within the community in order to make it affordable which also makes these types of living as co-living spaces. One more advantage of sharing basic amenities is that it helps to provide a bigger space for such amenities rather than creating small spaces for individuals. Such spaces may include: Gum, Study area, Bike storage, Laundry, Seating alcove, Terrace seating etc.

The affordable house also means increasing the quality of space rather while decreasing the per square unit of the apartment. It also makes sure it is fit for family as households. So, it’s not shrunk its re-think. It’s about re-thinking a new way of living while maintaining their needs and quality of life.

Feature of affordability by design:

  • Flexible furniture – using one space as multifunctional space. For example, a sofa which can act as living space during day and at night it can open up to be converted into bed and act as bedroom during night.

Due to advancement of technology the typical old murphy bed which use to mainly squish people has been advanced with the help of smart technology so that it no longer squishes people and can be used according to individual desires.

Such Advancement of murphy bed proves that we are creating spaces that are adapting to us rather than us adapting to space.

  • Flexible floor plans using flexible walls to grow or shrink units as per requirement. This would allow families to stay at one house even though their family grow.

This is done with the help of partition unit, closet and push it up the wall to create a much bigger living room or in the middle of the wall to divide the space into two. This helps in dividing the space into two or creating a much larger space.

  • Quality furniture i.e. well though furniture can make a smaller apartment feel bigger than a bigger apartment. This idea of making more with less can help solve the bigger challenge facing the cities today.
  • On demand storage – store certain things that you don’t use on a day to day basis in a cheaper square footage off site. Those things will be delivered to you when you want them.

What gave rise to affordable houses?

Idea for such living started from SROS i.e. Single Room Occupancies which was mainly for workers who could house there living near the working place so that the workers get there housing cheaply and efficiently. This also gave rise to studio apartments.

The main reason why SROS failed coz they weren’t un-sanitary, un-healthy, people crowding into spaces.

Difference between SROS and co-living space

The main reason why SROS and Co-living is different is because of its space distributions.

In co-living space distribution is like 65% is private residential, 25% is shared spaced like kitchen and living rooms and work space and the rest 15% is corridors.

But in an SROS 95% private residentials and tiny corridors and no communal areas.

Now in many countries a new type of zonings is coming in that is just for co-living and they are defining the norms for it such as parking ratios, open space requirements, fees, transportation demand management for it.

One good example of Affordable housing is CARAMEL PLACE BY nARCHITECTS

  • The government of many countries play an important role in creating tiny spaces which are affordable to the common people along with without making them feel that the space is smaller. One such example of tiny affordable housing is done my nARCHITECTS the ‘CARAMEL PLACE’
  • The exterior of the building is designed keeping in mind the context of the space.
  • They created spaces which are private to the users while they share few basic amenities with the other people which in turn increases the interaction with the other people. The spaces that are shared with the other apartment users are fitness centre, community room, terrace, bike storage, seating alcove, retail, laundry, study, patio and additional tenant storage. Sharing spaces such allows the designer to provide smaller spaces in comparison to the space provided to the individual person for its use.
  • The basic unit design is done in such a way that the floor plan is kept in such a way that each unit has multiple functions which makes the space multifunctional and thus require less space for one unit. This is known as transforming design where you can use one space as multi-function space. This provides flexibility in design.
  • The apartment feels bigger by providing high ceiling heights up to 9’8” high and the window height up to 8’ providing ample daylight into the corridors and apartments.

Thus, this type of design has given rise to a new style of living where people are ready to leave big houses which take up lots of square footage, is super costly to afford, not environment friendly. These types of design give rise to co-living spaces, Tiny houses which I will be further talking about in future articles.

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