“Co-Residence: Habiter en Grand” by Beatriz Ramo – STAR strategies + architecture and BOARD, 2012. By applying the principles of Co-Residence – where some spaces can be shared by different private units – a considerable reduction of the total building area is achieved – while the surface area of the apartment is not reduced. In this example a 35% reduction in space, time, and budget is obtained to realize the same number of houses. Or, if the initial conditions are kept, 35% more apartments that are 35% cheaper are obtained. Co-Residence fights the twofold dysfunctionality in housing at once: the increase in prices and the shortage in production.

Bernd Upmeyer interviewed Jörn Walter, who is a German city planner. From 1999 to 2017 he was Chief Planning Officer of the city of Hamburg, whose urban planning development he decisively influenced during this time. In the late 1970s he studied spatial planning at the University of Dortmund. Since 2001 he has been a professor of architecture at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg and since 2014 a professor at HafenCity University Hamburg.


Innovation for Affordable Urbanism

Bernd Upmeyer: In our contribution “Co-Residence: Habiter en Grand”, together with STAR strategies + architecture, for the Atelier International Grand Paris, we argued – in 2012! – that the introduction of a new form of communal life on the domestic scale of the apartment might contribute considerably to solving some of our current problems on the metropolitan scale, whether of an economic, social, or environmental nature. What do you think about forms of communal living as a solution for more affordable living spaces?
Jörn Walter: I think co-residence is a very interesting concept because it takes the idea of combining individual and community living to a qualitatively completely new level. In terms of land consumption, the remarkable effect is that instead of hardly usable circulation areas, recreational and common rooms are created. In this respect, I believe that co-residence is a concept for affordable housing that is very forward-looking in terms of both content and space. It remains to be seen to what extent it will assert itself on the market…

… the complete interview was published in MONU #32 on the topic of Affordable Urbanism on April 20, 2020.