Charles Holland Architects — Co-Living in the Countryside

Co-Living in the Countryside

A concept for new rural housing.

Co-Living in the Countryside, a proposal for new rural housing, won the 2022 Davidson Prize which sought innovative solutions for co-living. Our scheme explored this theme in relation to a rural site in the South Downs and was developed as a collaboration with artist Verity-Jane Keefe, urban designer Joseph Zeal-Henry and the Quality of Life Foundation.

The current dominant model of new housing is dependent upon limited developable land and a monopoly by volume housebuilders, resulting in the ubiquitous cul-de-sac of single-family units.

Co-Living in the Countryside was a natural evolution of our ongoing research into rural housing through both live projects and speculative designs, and proposes a new, alternative rural housing typology. This model, based on mutual, cooperative governance, allows for shared spaces and explores ways to widen housing provision and encourage a more diverse population.
 Our proposal is based on simple, timber-framed construction allowing for flexible and variable house types. These can be mixed and combined with shared components such as kitchen/dining, homeworking, workshop and child-care spaces.

The main blocks of houses are arranged like a horseshoe around the perimeter of the site. A small, garden space extends each home outside onto a shared allotment and community garden. An existing brick barn is retained to provide workshops and a communal room. The roof offers an important space for additional accommodation. This landscape can be added to create extra bedrooms, study rooms and workspaces. CHA are currently working to develop the Davidson Prize ideas as part of a number of new rural developments.

Charles Holland Architects — Co-Living in the Countryside