Building Study: Marmalade Lane, Cambridge, by Mole Architects

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How does this housing development that was instigated and managed by residents work in practice?

Co-housing is one of those terms that feels distinctly un-British. Exactly the opposite, in fact, to the word “marmalade”.

Co-housing refers to a form of housing that is instigated and managed by residents. According to the UK Cohousing Network, the official definition is an “intentional community, created and run by its residents, where each household has a self-contained, private home as well as shared community spaces and facilities.”

The world’s first co-housing project was built in Denmark in 1972 and while the practice has since rapidly grown in popularity in countries like Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and the United States, it has yet to make a significant foothold in the UK. Today there are around 20 established cohousing “communities” in the UK. Yet in Berlin alone there are almost 500.

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