The ‘Wohnprojekt Wien’, or ‘Co-housing Vienna’ project, is an excellent example of sustainable urban living. At the centre of this project is a self-organised community with a shared dream of living together in a sustainable, collaborative and open-minded way.
Together this community planned their new home; a large construction with wooden façades and a mix of communal and private spaces. These spaces give residents the opportunity to choose between engaging and communicating with neighbours and relaxing in their own company. The building consists of 39 dwellings and houses a diverse range of people from different cultures, backgrounds and ages. Mixed in with these dwellings are rooms for workshops and events, a playroom, a communal kitchen, business spaces, saunas, a large bicycle storage room, allotments, a library, a roof garden and guest rooms. The building is heated by a ground source heat pump, has a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery and solar photovoltaic panels on the roof.
The building was built by a private property developer and was purchased by the community on completion. All residents are part of the association which manages it, making this community one of the first groups in Austria to have a Sociocratic organisational structure. This form of governance differs from a democratic organisational structure in that there is no ‘rule of the majority’; all residents have to reason with one another until a unanimous decision is reached.
More information about the project including images, blueprints for the building and organisational structures can be found on the architect’s website (please note, the text is only available in German).
Image © Changeworks