Our second semester is a continuation of the Science Central but specifically interested in residential development in the area. The main objective is to experiment with alternative housing methods and produce a specific plot for Co-housing. We was introduced to alternative housing by visiting three different housing sites: The Mailings in Ouseburn, Sinclair Meadows in South Sheilds and Lancaster Co-Housing.
We compared these three cases and was encourage to research and visit other developments. I found Lancaster Co-housing to be very interesting concept, as well as it being slightly different setting from the other two. The development is located outside Lancaster just on the outskirts of the village of Halton and it is right next to the river Lune which provides great views for the residents there.
Fig 1: the location of Lancaster Co-housing, (2017) Google Maps of Lancaster
The facilities that this site provide are very different to other two such as; the work-space, common house, laundry, bike store and workshop, food cooperative & orchard, guest bedrooms, children’s room. What is fascinating about this place is that these are all shared facilities which in effect increases the communication and social interaction of the residents. Furthermore, there’s a renovated mill on site which has been separated into rentable flexible work spaces , there are several studios and offices as well as play space and small cafe. The building was 50% occupied in the 1st year and completely full by the second this has proven to be great revenue stream for the site.
Fig 2 – Fig 5: shared spaces in Lancaster. (Taken by Author 2017)
In my opinion, compared to Lancaster, the Mailings and Sinclair Meadows lack of shared facilities that encourage residents to interact. They just focus on living space, such as the open space in these two sites, but they are just blank space lacking quality without any attractions for residents and so these spaces are left ignored.
Fig 6: Open space in Mailings (Taken by Author 2016) Fig 7: Open space in Sinclair Meadows (Taken by Author 2016)
Simply put, Lancaster offers enough common space to allow residents to interact and fulfill their needs. However, I did notice that there wasn’t much outdoor space for in Lancaster, most of shared space was indoors, such as : common room, children’s room and workroom. I thought, that there may be a good opportunity to use the space alongside the river Lune as a potential outdoor public space, but they would need to make considerations for safety of the children.
Fig 8: Riverside of Lune (Taken by Author 2017)