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Co-living community design from the perspective of urban design

A well-designed modern residential community requires excellent private living space to provide basic functions, and it should also be a space that promotes neighbourhood interaction and enables people to generate a sense of collective community [1]. As far as environmental ecology is concerned, community housing is our most basic and intimate living space. The sustainability of energy, the influence and regulation of the environment and climate, the research on biodiversity and the development of the community’s humanistic care culture have become the focus. Designs such as self-production, edible landscapes, communities, cultural and residential urban environments, sponge cities, and co-living communities began to emerge. By co-creating what they call an ecological system “prototype urban intervention” that integrates landscape, architectural facilities and natural ecology, they aim to stimulate the vitality and cohesion of the entire block[1].



  1. The harmonious echo of plants and residences adds greenness to the city.

The Forest Mews residence in London uses slender brick columns and expanses of glass to complement the plants[2]. It is an urban redevelopment project, innovatively enclosing houses into public courtyards, forming a multi-functional small community inside. In the case of a limited budget, the project actively deals with the relationship between the base and the adjacent buildings. On the premise of not destroying privacy and aesthetics, the coordination between the surrounding environment and community housing, as well as the coordination between buildings and green plants, is promoted.

Surround the house into an outdoor public courtyard



Finally, the ground of the courtyard is spliced with resin gravel and flower beds to form a geometric shape, echoing the position of the brick columns of the building[2]. And erect a grill suitable for climbing vines near the wall. The facade of the building is covered with ivy and other plants, depicting rich patterns, forming a unique interaction between plants, buildings and residents. Give people a living experience in nature. Increase the proportion of plants in the yard to play a role of privacy and sunshade. Green plants are innovatively installed on the walls, ground and roof of the building as an insulation layer to ensure that the building can adjust the temperature through the plants and obtain sufficient natural light at the same time.


The ground floor of the house is equipped with a semi-private loggia public space as the entrance hall. Barrier-free partitions of private spaces extend to the atrium. Increase the window-to-wall ratio of the building to introduce natural light into the interior, making the community space look light and transparent. The use of light-coloured brick surfaces and glass reflects sunlight and brightens public spaces even in winter. A variety of local wildflowers are also planted in the project, adding colourful colours to the building. Sustainable drainage includes green roofs, green walls, and vegetated water strips.

Sustainable Analysis made by myself


  1. Sponge city housing strategy

With the continuous increase of urban residential land, too many impermeable hard materials lead to a serious shortage of natural infiltration, purification and collection of rainwater. More and more cities are facing the problem of rainwater flooding. For cities that rely on water supply, such as Los Angeles, the existing drainage system can no longer meet the needs of the future, and rainwater will become an important resource [3]. I think modern urban residential design should consider combining sponge city design methods, increasing the use of plant land and permeable materials, realising the natural accumulation, infiltration and purification of rainwater in urban areas, and realising the recycling of rainwater resources. Improve capacity and resilience to adapt to future environmental changes and respond to natural disasters.


Although the concept of sponge city design has been recognized, its practical application in real communities or public spaces lags. The developer of the land believes that the technology and concept of “sponge city” are independent and require separate costs and long-term feedback. I think on the contrary, it can become a fixed model that can be applied to different projects, such as green sponge roofs, low-load slope roofs, and rainwater reactive storage devices. It shouldn’t be an optional option in the design, layered on top of the design. Like urban fire protection facilities, it is used as a design strategy, combined with advanced concepts and technologies, to be developed more naturally and harmoniously.

Concept and Application Type

3.Community culture, humanistic care.

In the sixth week of the 8069 courses, we visited the Marmalade Lane community housing in Cambridge. As a co-living project that has won the Cambridge Real Estate Environment Award, it provides a wide range of shared facilities for residents with its first-class modern residential urban design, large shared gardens, car-free driveways and community life and other unique experiences[4].


Designers hope to give people a new way of life in Cohousing. Neighbours trust each other, have a sense of belonging to the community, and jointly manage and maintain their living environment. Residents benefit from shared spaces and facilities for greater social possibilities. Includes social, and dining spaces for entertaining guests, fireside lounges, children’s playroom, adult lounge, and flexible meeting and wellness class spaces. A small gym and workshop provide a place for hobbies. Everywhere embodies the humanistic care of the community.

[8]My own expedition shooting

At the heart of the project is a beautifully landscaped shared garden, including recreational areas and a large composting area planted with an edible vegetable garden for self-sufficiency and added enjoyment for residents. My feeling is that the children living here must be very happy and have a perfect childhood.

The details of the interior reflect the human touch of the community everywhere


My own expedition shooting

Marmalade Lane street


Marmalade Lane is a collective innovative design product in which residents have been involved from the beginning and continues to this day. They come from all ages and walks of life, share happiness through public spaces, pursue a leisurely collective life, and reject loneliness. Finally, a new residential model with shares that contribute to community governance is formed [5]. I think it’s a very interesting .

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

Telephone: 0191 208 6509