Skip to content

The Live-work housing 

Last week we just finished our Housing Alternative module, and there are four types of housing in our group’s design, which are Co-housing, Live-work, life cycle and affordable housing. Although, the Co-housing is the most important part of this module, but the most interesting type of housing for me is Live-work housing. Because this kind of housing is happening in anywhere in the world. According to the internet developed rapidly. The small business has become possible for every normal people. However, the real situation is most of the small businessmen they are still struggling with the high rent of the office. These small businessmen are just beginning to running their small business, they do not have lots of money to pay both home and office, particularly in some of modern cities. The rent of office is much higher than the normal home. Base on this problem, Live –work can solve and help small businessmen a lot. This concept combines home and work for making them together.

The space of Live-work housing has some difference from the normal housing. The concept of sharing is the main point of the Live-work. Majority of clients who chose the Live-work as their work place is because they cannot afford the big space, such as conference room or Meeting room.(Figure 1) However, in most of Live-work housing they have sharing conference room and meeting room. The residents who want to use these room or facilities can directly rent it for a contemporary use and some of the facilities also can be shared like printer and projector. Additionally, the same type of studios gather in one place can benefit each other. Clients can easily find out where can give them this particular service and save their time. On the other hand, when the same business gather in one place, the competition happening, which means the price will be better and the quality will be better as well.

In sum, I think the reason why Live-work becoming popular is that this type of housing could bring benefit to both clients and small business holder.(Figure 1: The common room of Live-work housing)

Reference images:

Figure 1: available at:






2 responses to “The Live-work housing”

  1. Hou Yue has highlighted the increasing popularity of Live-work housing and the several advantages that this offers to entrepreneurs in the marketplace. However, there are limitations that need to be taken into account before opting for these house types.
    As mentioned above, some businesses benefits from common conference rooms and meeting spaces. Time is saved and costs of meeting clients is reduced when living and working is made possible in the same space but this system invites security problems. The residents might not want strangers around their house and since, not all businesses are similar, the range of clients varies. The customers are often invited in the residential premises without knowing who they are or any secure background information on them. Another disadvantage of these zones is having the employees working in such close proximity of the personal living space. Most entrepreneurs have no problems with this, but some individuals prefer not to connect work spaces with their residential spaces. At the end of work one needs to disconnect from their work environment to ensure good health and physical well being, which can be tough in live-work housing.
    Another matter to take into account is that not all types of businesses are allowed in some particular areas, as some of these dwellings are located in residential zones. Zoning rules and planning permissions should be checked before buying a live-work dwelling in order to avoid future problems. People might face the same issues with a commercial office space, but a live-work house will have stricter rules because of the residential component attached to it.
    Inspite of these disadvantages, no conclusion can be made about preferences of live-work housing; it’s a decision based on specific business types and a perfect balance between work and living spaces.

    5 Disadvantages of a Live-Work Loft, Available at-

  2. Hue You has interestingly discussed the live work typology in a corporate business sense, he did discuss a very important design variant within the live/work typology. As an office/living building fit the essential needs of small and starter enterprises, which need commercial & office that is part of their living arrangements to reduce overheads. I would like to discuss another design variant of this typology which is based around creative industries. Studio or workshop/living, this type of housing is more prevalent in the States in more ‘creative areas’ such as San Francisco. Whilst I was researching precedents of lifework units I was interested in how they spatially designed the units to define what was living and what was work space.
    I found that many units were split between two levels with workspaces located on the ground floor, an issue with workshops was the noise which had to be tackled using sound proofing. Another design element that I found within this typology was the flexibility that it allowed in the work part, as they provided large doors, large open spaces and higher ceilings.
    An in all I think the live work typology is an excellent example of a different way of living, I think that it differently has a lot of future applications and a need for it in respect to small start-up and SME business not just in the States but also in the UK, it’s already happening in the hipstery/creative quarters of our cities.

School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509


Hit Counter provided by recruiting services