Co-living may be a new buzzword in the property development sector, but it certainly isn’t a new concept. Most of us have heard, and some may even have first-hand experience, of communal living.
Whilst the idea of a commune may not sound appealing to everyone – property developers are breathing new life into the concept and relating its benefits into crowded city spaces, but with a hipster twist. Its growing popularity is closely linked to modern city-living challenges; a lack of affordable housing, ever increasing cost-of-living, work globalization and technological change.
For the young professional global workforce willing to relocate for work and career advancement, co-living developments deliver an attractive, affordable solution. New arrivals to an area can experience immediate immersion into the community. Within the monthly rental fee, modern co-living combines a well-designed personal area with shared recreational spaces, innovatively combining a host of inspiring events.
Initially a phenomenon only available in major global cities, co-working spaces are now increasing in visibility and gaining popularity with city developers challenged with quality low-cost living facilities. Dublin’s first co-living spaces were opened by Node in March 2018, and London based company, The Collective, has purchased its first Dublin location as part of their European expansion strategy.
Developer, Derek Twiss of Bond Street Investments, is leveraging the big city appeal of co-living bringing the concept to the lesser populated Killarney, County Kerry. Based on the west coast of Ireland, Kerry has long since attracted multinational companies and an international workforce.
In August 2018, Twiss acquired an aging property locally known as “German Flats” just outside Killarney to initiate the region’s first co-living space. To create a truly unique interior persona, Edit Design Studio were engaged to design and manage interior design reconstruction.
Edit Design Studio’s lead design team, Nathalie Vos and Justina Gruzdyte, were excited to find original 1950’s features still in-tact. “We were instantly keen to preserve feature elements; terrazzo window sills, cast iron radiators, arch doorways, the mid-century staircase, and to draw inspiration from the period details to inform our design decisions” recalls Natalie. The building did present some challenges however – its structure of steel and concrete meant chasing walls to upgrade systems was going to blow the design budget, therefore the decision was made to expose these elements incorporating them as design features. “The mix of original 50’s elements; industrial trunking, pipes and conduits and the mid-century styled interior has resulted in what we feel is an exciting and eclectic co-living development within the heart of one of Ireland’s most beautiful tourist regions” concludes Natalie.
The interiors of the building have been designed with young professionals in mind requiring an average stay of 6-12 months. Accommodation is offered for single, shared or double occupancy. The property offers twelve five-bedroom apartments with an eat-in kitchen and shared bathrooms. Bedrooms include built-in beds and headboards and bespoke mid-century inspired storage solutions incorporating a work desk, wardrobe and shelves. The basement offers recreational space where individuals can come together and enjoy getting to know each other – a principal element of communal living. Edit Design Studio were keen to incorporate colour and bold patterns in the communal space creating a vibrant but relaxed environment with lots of nooks for reading, working and socialising. The basement features two residents’ lounges, a large kitchen with dining table, a gym, laundry and a room for watching films. Abode, will open its doors in March 2019.