Next >>
<< Back
Tags: News

Co-living is said to be the new fashion, although it is a system that has been in operation for years. Its function is to live by sharing spaces and moving away from the purchase of properties for private and unique use. This is why the millennial generation, with two economic crises behind them, tends to co-live much more than previous generations.


The basis of co-living

Co-living is based on the experience of collaborative living. It was born in San Francisco by young people who had less access to housing in cities that had a lot of employment opportunities and encouraged immigration within the country itself. The urban centres of capitals or large cities have this power of attraction, and therefore it was only a matter of time before co-living was not a fad, but something normalised. The main cities that have imported this residential system have been London, Berlin, Tokyo and Madrid.


In a co-living space people have a private room, while the rest of the rooms are shared, as they would be in a student residence or hotel. The main difference with these is that the people living together are related and have similar jobs and routines.

In a co-living space people have a private room, while the rest of the rooms are shared, as they would be in a student residence or hotel. The main difference with these is that the people living together are related and have similar jobs and routines.

Something fundamentally different is to have an external cleaning service.

Advantages of co-living over other models

  1. It allows the creation of safety nets between tenants. If it already happens with the fellowship between neighbours in blocks of flats, co-living spaces are perfect for creating a network of care and support for those who live together. This is something that communities of neighbours in villas and single-family houses do not achieve because the privacy they have is an impassable wall, and in many cases it also turns into isolation and loneliness.

  2. It makes a life based on experiences rather than property viable. Not worrying about saving for the future and being more present in the moment is part of the philosophy of the new generations. Understanding this makes it easy to understand what co-living is and why it is the present and the future.
  3. The spaces, although shared, are bigger. You can save money and manage to buy a tiny house and make it your space, or you can live in a larger one with other people where all your needs are covered. However valuable, privacy can be too much of an obstacle.
  4. It is a necessary paradigm shift. It is a fact that big cities are overcrowded and space has to be used to the maximum. Co-living allows more people to live in the same space, and achieves this without having to live in smaller places and in worse conditions. It is also a way of understanding the use of resources. It is sustainability applied not only to construction, but to the way of living and managing the space you inhabit.

  5. Co-living can be combined with co-working. Co-working spaces for teleworkers provide an outlet and an opportunity to network and connect with other professionals.
  6. Coworking does not involve working with your own colleagues in the company, but with other people who share professional experiences, whether or not they are in similar positions.  

Co-living spaces and their architecture


Collaborative residences or multi-family spaces are not a thing of the now. There has always been a need for housing for large numbers of people.


For example, Le Corbusier's Marseille housing unit was built because, after the post-war period, there was a need for people living in a block of buildings to use the common areas collaboratively, to have a higher quality of life by making the most of the space.


The co-living, instead of taking it to the whole building, does it by floors or floors for a better distribution.


A co-living space can have many variations, but in general it has the following spaces:

  • Single rooms with bathroom
  • Kitchen and dining room together
  • Recreation and play area
  • Co-working office
  • Gym
  • Living room

Co-living in the news

Collaborative housing is booming, whether in the form of blocks of buildings with common spaces or co-living spaces. Madrid is regulating these cohousing spaces in order to standardise their creation and lay the foundations to be followed on an architectural and social level.


Due to the pandemic and the need for many people to quarantine, both alone and with people with whom they have not previously lived together, the acceptance of this residential phenomenon has increased. There are many who reject the total intimacy of a house and a room is sufficient for them. Others have found it possible to get along with other people and see these spaces as an improvement over sharing a flat or living in hostels or hotels.


Co-living allows a collaborative system to be established between members of the same community, with support for different age groups. This means that older people are better cared for, young people are better able to reconcile work and family life, and children are cared for in their own building, in a familiar setting.


There are differences between co-housing and co-living, but they are models that are gaining momentum every day.

Master in Collective Housing UPM/ETH

The Master of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing is a professional and international postgraduate programme that is developed on a full-time basis, dealing with advanced architectural design in the city and housing. It is designed and taught jointly by the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH).


The application period for MCH2022 is now closed. The application period for MCH2023 will open soon.


For more information, click here!

Next news
In this site, we use our own cookies and third party cookies to offer you our best service.If you keep on this site , we do understand you accept their use here