In Europe – the coliving boom is very much alive and attracting more & more interest from investors than ever before.
To get a better understanding of where the industry is heading, we narrowed in on four urban hubs in Europe & the UK where the coliving trend is developing at different paces.
Don’t miss the first part of the article: Urban Coliving Movement: Tracing Origins, Generational Influences and the Future of Coliving here.
The UK (Highlights)
The coliving trend is still quite condensed in the UK, with schemes being largely confined to London. However, with the growing demand for convenience & community, it seems that we will be hearing of further development very soon.
According an interview conducted by contributors at placetech (2018), current coliving providers are passionately pushing forward a tenant-first approach. After having gone through their own share of disappointing rental experiences & being well-aware of how lonely and stressful city living can be, their approach focuses on 3 core factors – community, convenience and affordability.
With the focal point being on creating community, many of the providers even conduct tenant interviews to make sure that potential residents are a good fit for the residences.
Similar to US coliving models like WeLive, coliving schemes in the UK offer flexible long and short stay contracts, all-inclusive & fully-furnished accommodations – usually with plenty of sources for entertainment. (Placetech, 2018)
Amongst the most well-known coliving schemes in the UK are The Collective Old Oak Common and Lyvly.
The Collective Old Oak Common is the world’s largest coliving development to date – offering over 500 rooms. Filled to the brim with amenities, The Collective ensures that everything residents may need – whether out of necessity or for pleasure – is provided. (Winston, A. 2016)
In addition to well-equipped, modern apartments, the residence offers a multitude of shared spaces (termed “ community”) offering everything from a well-stocked library, Apple Workstation, restaurants & bars, dog wash stations to a diverse variety of fitness centres such as a yoga studio, 25 meter indoor lap pool, and much more. (The Collective)
According to Reza Merchant, CEO of The Collective, “Nowadays people are just used to everything at a touch of a button – It is essential to provide that same level of convenience and immediacy in the places where people live.” (Winston, A. 2016)
As you enter the website, it is evident that Lyvly puts great emphasis on building a community, as supported by the brand’s bold tagline “We believe home is nothing without the right people to share it with.” (Lyvly)
Targeting young professionals, Lyvly provides over 30 shared homes in diverse locations throughout London. Offering private, fully-furnished bedrooms, all-inclusive rental agreements, communal spaces such as fully-equipped kitchen and lounge, & plenty of community-building events hosted at Lyvly HQ – it is clear that the company is on a mission to promote shared-living as the answer to the “shortcomings of traditional renting”. (Lyvly)
In The Netherlands, as rent prices in major Dutch cities are on a rapid incline, coliving concepts offer not only an affordable living option for singles and digital nomads, but also the chance to be part of a connected community. (Ham, G.V. 2017)
The Fizz Cobana provides over 350 uniquely-designed apartments to rent in Katendrecht, one of the most vibrant neighbourhoods in Rotterdam. Targeting young professionals and entrepreneurs, this up-and-coming coliving scheme offers apartments ranging between 38m2 and 70m2 and plenty of opportunities to be immersed in an active, international “FIZZ family”. (WonenInRotterdam 2019)
With common spaces ranging from a beautiful rooftop terrace with a panoramic view of the city, to cooking studios, and work spaces, The Fizz Cobana presents professionals with the opportunity to live a more fulfilled life, alongside their busy work schedules.
OurDomain opened the doors to its first property in Amsterdam Diemen earlier this year, with other locations to follow soon in Amsterdam SouthEast and Rotterdam Blaak.
With a special focus on maintaining the balance between residents’ privacy vs community life, OurDomain offers a nice blend of amenities to make residents lives most comfortable and convenient.
The property accommodates everyone from students to young & older professionals ready to start their lives out in the city. Convenience is brought through a diverse range of amenities & facilities from launderette, to on-site supermarket, fitness centre, restaurants & bars, to accessible public transport links and much more. Locals in the area are also welcomed to use the on-site facilities, enabling neighbourhood-development on a much grander scale.
On the other hand, comfort & flexibility are catered for through a range of modern, fully-equipped short & extended-stay apartments for residents to choose from.
Amsterdam South East & Rotterdam Blaak coming soon.
As Germany’s startup community swells and increasing number of digital nomads head to Germany in the pursuit of new opportunities, more & more coliving spaces are popping up to accommodate this growing group of people. “Facilities vary, but much like student housing, smaller private living spaces are offset by communal areas such as gyms or places to work, which are rarely available in other shared types of accommodation.” (JLL, 2018)
PROJECTS & Quarters are amongst a wide-range of coliving schemes building a presence in the country.
PROJECTS coliving is slowly expanding to other parts of Europe with the simple mission of accommodating urbanites with “simple, beautiful and community-focused” housing.
The coliving scheme offers fully-furnished flats or studios with weekly room cleaning as well as communal spaces where residents can hang out together.
Presenting themselves as the “world’s most global coliving community”, Quarters aimed at professionals in their 20s-30s offers a little bit of a different shared experience in comparison to other coliving providers. Managed by The Medici Living Group, the scheme supplies tenants with 90 rooms in 24 shared apartments with a shared kitchen and the option to choose between a shared or private bathroom.
The spaces in the building give off a creative, Berlin-esque character with playful artwork on the walls and stylish wood fixtures. Communal areas facilitate outdoor grilling, co-working spaces, indoor cinema, and exclusive Quarters chilling areas, while community events managed by an on-site community manager allow for plenty of networking opportunities.
In Spain, the surge in online entrepreneurship and freelancing has sparked the investment in coliving spaces. Although the coliving option is (seemingly) more directed towards traveling nomads interested in short stay options (less than 6 months) – the schemes being developed are no less impressive in their offering than those schemes seen in other parts of Europe.
A couple that stand out are Sun & Co coliving space in Xàbia, Alacant, Spain (TheLocal, 2018) and Nine Coliving in Tenerife.
Home to “location independent workers” Sun & Co provides short & long stay accommodation, perfectly suited to residents’ flexible, nomadic lifestyle.
With the average length of stay varying between 1 week to 2-3 months, residents are provided an all-inclusive stay, covering everything from comfortable accommodation to workspaces and plenty of community-building activities.
Taking full advantage of all the beautiful coastal town has to offer, residents can participate in social activities ranging from hiking to kayaking, movie nights, cooking challenges and even local events held in town. (TheLocal, 2018)
It is clear that those who choose to stay at Sun & Co are looking for a life outside of the traditional 9-5 working hours and that is exactly what they receive at this coliving space.
Nine Coliving, located in Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands also targets location-independent workers with all-inclusive accommodation. Although relatively smaller in size in comparison to the other coliving schemes, Nine is an exceptional example of how to incorporate the local culture into the living space.
It does this by bringing visitors a nice taste of the historical town through its neoclassical-meets-modern architecture.
Weekly cleaning, fresh breakfast, workspaces and community activities are included in the room price.
Final Thoughts: Where is Coliving headed?
After looking deeper into how various coliving schemes are developing in the UK, The Netherlands, Germany and Spain, it is clear that the future of coliving is headed towards building a more connected community coupled with life-fulfilling experiences.
This of course goes beyond just bringing like-minded people together. Coliving providers are connecting people from all walks of life, backgrounds, occupations and age brackets, enabling globalism to take its course and produce an environment of open-mindedness and acceptance in its wake.
Although we focused on these 4 urban hubs, it is important to mention that countries like Austria, Portugal and many other European countries are also front-runners in the coliving movement.
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