Typology and Interiority of Cohousing in Europe 1981–2021

Main Article Content

Issue Vol. 7 No. 1 (2024)
Published Jan 29, 2024
Section Articles
Article downloads 190
DOI: https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v7i1.317
Submitted : Mar 20, 2023 | Accepted : Dec 9, 2023

Virginia De Jorge-Huertas Justo De Jorge-Moreno


This work aims to research the connection between cohousing architecture and interiority. For this purpose, the analyses are structured in two phases. The first consists of the characterisation and identification of underlying typologies of European cohousing projects in the last three decades, 1981–2022. The second phase consists of the connection between the interiority concepts (in terms of planimetry, typology, spatial syntax, and interior spaces) and the cohousing architecture in the case studies selected from the first phase, which made it possible to compare cohousing projects and propose future strategies. The research identifies a typology with two clusters of cohousing projects of greater/lesser age and scale. The comparative analysis of the two selected projects, Malta Cohousing (Helsinki) and Schönholzer Strasse (Berlin), provides architectural proposals for compacting the shared and distributed interior spaces on the second floor of the projects, thus making them more usable and finding the points of greatest visibility at the perimeters or in the centre of the interior floor layouts. These proposals could reveal various possibilities for the design of spaces in terms of dynamic forms of the body-space relationships that characterise them and contribute to their improvement and the understanding of the functioning of the occupation and use of the different spaces, whether individual, collective, public, or private. These results fill the existing gap in the literature in terms of a better understanding and analysis of the connection between cohousing architecture and the concept of interiority while also contributing to stakeholders and policymakers in future decision-making.

Keywords: interiority, cohousing, typology, scale, spatial syntax

Article Details

How to Cite
De Jorge-Huertas, V., & De Jorge-Moreno, J. (2024). Typology and Interiority of Cohousing in Europe 1981–2021. Interiority, 7(1), 79–100. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v7i1.317
Author Biographies

Virginia De Jorge-Huertas, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain

Virginia De Jorge-Huertas is an assistant professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid. She obtained a PhD in Architecture from the University of Alcalá (ETSA - UAH). She has experience as a visiting researcher at the Architectural Association of London and a postdoctoral researcher at Università Iuav di Venezia. She has published in different architecture journals such as Nexus Network Journal, Spatium, Frontiers of Architectural Research, and TECHNE: Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, among others.

Justo De Jorge-Moreno, Universidad de Alcalá, Spain

Justo De Jorge-Moreno is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Business at Universidad de Alcalá. He has worked as a project engineer in public and private companies. He has published in different fields of economics and architecture.


Atmodiwirjo, P., & Yatmo, Y. A. (2022). Interiority from the body, mind, and culture. Interiority, 5(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v5i1.209

Atmodiwirjo, P., & Yatmo, Y. A. (2023). Capturing interiority. Interiority, 6(1), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v6i1.288

Bachelard, G. (1957). La poétique de l'espace [The poetics of space]. Presses Universitaires de France.

Bell, L. S. (2022). Intergenerational hybrid cohousing community for artists. [Master's thesis, University of Manitoba]. https://mspace.lib.umanitoba.ca/handle/1993/36635

Bossuyt, D. (2021). Who owns collaborative housing? A conceptual typology of property regimes. Housing, Theory and Society, 39(2), 200–216. https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2021.1888788

Conroy-Dalton, R. (2002). Is spatial intelligibility critical to the design of large-scale virtual environments? International Journal of Design Computing, 4.

Czischke, D. (2018). Collaborative housing and housing providers: Towards an analytical framework of multi-stakeholder collaboration in housing co-production. InternationalJournal of Housing Policy, 18(1), 55–81. https://doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2017.1331593

Czischke, D., Carriou, C., & Lang, R. (2020). Collaborative housing in Europe: Conceptualizing the field. Housing, Theory and Society, 371(1), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2020.1703611

Daniel, R., & Chalmers, L. (2021). Thinking the body‐inside. Journal of Interior Design, 46(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/joid.12197

De Jorge-Huertas, V. (2018, June 27–29). Focusing on retrofit cohousing: Tactics for future implementation [Paper presentation]. ENHR Conference: More Together, More Apart: Migration, Densification, Segregation, Uppsala, Sweden. 

De Jorge-Huertas, V. (2019). Baugruppen: Innovation through collaborative infrastructures. TECHNE - Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, 17, 171–182. https://doi.org/10.13128/Techne-23879

De Jorge-Huertas, V. (2020). Collaborative designing of communities: Helsinki and Zurich pioneers. ACE: Architecture, City and Environment, 15(43), Article 9012. https://doi.org/10.5821/ace.15.43.9012

De Jorge-Huertas, V., & De Jorge-Moreno, J. (2023). Connecting the dots between housing design and COVID-19. Architecture, 3(2), 328–343. https://doi.org/10.3390/architecture3020018

Dursun, P. (2007). Space syntax in architectural design. Proceedings, 6th International Space Syntax Symposium. http://spacesyntaxistanbul.itu.edu.tr/papers/longpapers/056%20-%20Dursun.pdf

Ferreri, M., & Vidal, L. (2022). Public-cooperative policy mechanisms for housing commons. International Journal of Housing Policy, 22(2), 149–173. https://doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2021.1877888

Fromm, D. (2000). American cohousing: The first five years. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 17(2), 94–109. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43030530

Fromm, D. (2012). Seeding community: Collaborative housing as a strategy for social and neighborhood repair. Built Environment, 38(3), 364–394. https://doi.org/10.2148/benv.38.3.364

Glass, A., & Plaats, R. S. V. (2013). A conceptual model for aging better together intentionally. Journal of Aging Studies, 27(4), 428–442. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2013.10.001

Hanson, J. (2003). Decoding homes and houses. Cambridge University Press.

Hillier, B. (1996). Space is the machine: A configurational theory of architecture. Cambridge University Press. 

Hillier, B., & Hanson, J. (1984). The social logic of space. Cambridge University Press.

Hillier, B., Musgrove, J., & O'Sullivan, P. (1984). Knowledge and design. In N. Cross (Ed.), Developments in design methodology (pp. 245–264). John Wiley & Sons. 

Horelli, L. (2013). The role of shared space for the building and maintenance of community from the gender perspective: A longitudinal case study in a neighbourhood of Helsinki. Social Sciences Directory, 2(3), 1–20.

Koolhaas, R., Boom, I., & Tillmans, W. (2018). Elements of architecture. Taschen.

Korpela, S. (2012). Casa Malta: A case study of a contemporary co-housing project in Helsinki. Built Environment, 38(3), 336–344. https://doi.org/10.2148/benv.38.3.336

Lang, R., Carriou, C., & Czischke, D. (2018). Collaborative housing research (1990–2017): A systematic review and thematic analysis of the field. Theory and Society, 37(1), 10–39. https://doi.org/10.1080/14036096.2018.1536077

Ledent, G. (2022). Size matters: How does the number of dwellings affect housing co‑production? Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 37, 889–907. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10901-021-09863-8

Meltzer, G. (2006). Sustainable community: Learning from the co-housing model. Trafford Publishing. 

Palm-Lindén, K. (1992). Kollektivhuset och mellanzonen: Om rumslig struktur och sociali liv [Collective housing and intermediary space: About spatial structure and social life]. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Lund University. 

Pereira, G. F., Lies, M., & Kang, M. (2019). A case study of place attachment in rural and urban senior cohousing communities. Housing and Society, 46(1), 3–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/08882746.2019.1580945

Pinelo, J., & Turner, A. (2010). Introduction to UCL Depthmap10 (Version 10.08.00r). UCL.

Ring, K. (2019). Self-made city: Self-initiated urban living and architectural interventions. Jovi. 

Ruby, I., Ruby, A., Kries, M., Müller, M., & Niggli, D. (Eds.). (2017). Together! The new architecture of the collective. Ruby Press.

Shah, S. J., & Muro, C. (2023). Manifestations of urban interiority in Delhi Gate Bazaar of Lahore. Interiority, 6(2), 177–200. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v6i2.318

Tummers, L. (2016). The re-emergence of self-managed co-housing in Europe: A critical review of co-housing research. Urban Studies, 53(10), 2021–2040. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042098015586696

Turner, A. (2007). From axial to road-center lines: a new representation for space syntax and a new model of route choice for transport network analysis. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 34(3), 539–555. https://doi.org/10.1068/b32067

Vestbro, D. U. (1992). From central kitchen to community cooperation: Development of collective housing in Sweden. Open House International, 17(2), 30–38. 

Vestbro, D. U. (2000). From collective housing to cohousing: A summary of research. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 17(2), 164–178. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43030534

Vestbro, D. U., & Horelli, L. (2012). Design for gender equality: The history of co-housing ideas and realities. Built Environment, 38(3), 315–335. https://doi.org/10.2148/benv.38.3.315

Vestbro, D. U. (Ed.). (2010). Living together: Cohousing ideas and realities around the world. Proceedings from the International Collaborative Housing Conference in Stockholm, May 5–9, 2010.

Vidali, M. (2020). The local festival of Kampos: A fictional narrative of place, space and interiority. Interiority, 3(1), 21–40. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v3i1.59

Ward Jr., J. H. (1963). Hierarchical grouping to optimize an objective function. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 58(301), 236–244. https://doi.org/10.1080/01621459.1963.10500845

Young, B. (2023). Interiority and agency: Exploring self in context with others in the act of creation. Interiority, 6(2), 141–158. https://doi.org/10.7454/in.v6i2.272