Lewis Washington

A Machine for Co-Living

Co-Living serves as a revolutionary housing alternative, giving precedence to the ‘communal’, as opposed to the ‘private’. Embracing this ethos, ‘A Machine for Co-Living’ comprehends the delicate relationship between the two – fostering choice through kinetic ‘Bedroom Pods’. As such, Liverpool’s Young Professionals can enjoy a juxtaposition of social and studious living…

Slotted within a repetitive steel grid, Pre-fabricated, Kinetic Bedroom Pods define the scheme’s flexible language. When a Pod is ‘docked’ against the spinal walkway, it appears open, inviting. Neighbours are enticed to socialise. Contrastingly, an ‘adrift’ Pod forms a physical ‘moat’, lending it to private study. This kinetic adaptability addresses the greatly diverse social and academic activities of the modern ‘Young Professional’. Above the semi-public ground floor, these pods also form an ever-changing canopy, denoting the bustle of Co-Living. Adopting the ethos of Co-Living, shower and W.C. blocks remain shared. As pre-fabricated blocks, these puncture the courtyard façade. This use of prefabrication lends the building to future re-use.

Embracing Bedford Street’s University affiliations, the overall plan is arranged quadrangularly. A North-South pathway runs parallel to the existing street, enticing passing locals and students to linger within the courtyard, or join public activities. Two Wings split the building. The east homes newly-graduated young professionals, with an undercroft of flexible activity space. In contrast, the smaller south block houses junior lecturers – sitting atop the calm in-house library. Whilst the East Block’s activity spaces remain permeable to the street, absorbing the community, the southern library steps back from the street edge for greater privacy. The North border sports a low-rise, refectory, which lightly touches the existing boundary wall. Through flexible kinetic solutions, the design acts as a tool for – rather than an instructor of – communal activity.…  a machine for co-living in.

email: washingtonlewis700@yahoo.co.uk

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