The 9Floor co-living is a Taiwanese start-up since 2015 , aims to provide better living experiences through Space/Social/Community Design.
起源於北歐的共居住宅起初是為了幫忙職場媽媽分攤育兒工作而發展成的共住模式，大多是臥房獨立，但共享廚房、餐廳、洗衣等公共空間。隨著高齡社會來臨，共同看護也成為一種方式。這樣的概念透傳至北美，催生一些落實共同住宅概念的新社區，如華盛頓州的「共享森林」（Sharingwood） 以及加州的 N Street。多數的共同住宅團隊致心建立融合不同世代的社區，但也有的共同住宅社區是專門服務銀髮族。
“ 讓我們重新思考「家」這個空間 ”
The concept of co-living was originated in the 1960s, at a time when a group of families in Denmark thought that the housing and community policies failed to fulfill their needs. In 1967, the first modern co-housing project, Sættedammen, was formed with 50 families together building an intentional community.
In Northern Europe, co-housing apartments were first established since working mothers needed to share the work of childcare. In those cases, the families usually had separate bedrooms, while sharing the kitchen, cafeteria and laundry space. As the problem of aging arose in society, co-caring later became a phenomenon.These concepts were eventually brought to North America, leading to the emergence of new co-housing communities such as Sharingwood in Washington State and N Street in California, United States. While most of the co-housing communities aim to include members of different age, some are created specifically for the elderly.
In fact, early forms of co-operative housing appeared long before the emergence of modern co-housing communities. Cases of which residents in NYC shared facilities with neighbors as early as in the 1920s would be examples. Even in earlier times, similar characteristics of co-operative housing can be found in China, such as in siheyuan (四合院) housing and the Hakka walled villages. (1)
“Let’s rethink the space of ‘home.’”
Taipei nowadays has become one of the cities with the highest house prices in the world. Meanwhile, it does not only have low marriage and birth rates and an aging population, but also has the income level of college graduates still stuck at twenty years ago. Younger generations can only live in tiny apartments, “humble abodes (蝸居),” as in the Chinese saying. (2) Looking at Taipei where living has become so unaffordable, how should we approach the problems of housing? How should we (re-)imagine the space of “home”?
Reflecting on what private space can be may provide some solutions. The historical study of anthropology revealed that the bedroom had become a space specifically for sleeping and love-making only since the 19th century. Before that, people treated it as a semi-open space available for many others. And as we consider the kitchen, the closed, compartment kitchen in traditional Taiwanese housing showed that kitchen was seen as an alienated manufacturing place for meals, which also excluded women from the living room where men stay. Contrarily, the current trend of having an open kitchen at home renders meal-making a social and fun process. In a space where the living room and kitchen co-exist, more possibilities of social relations can arise.
Contrarily, the current trend of having an open kitchen at home renders meal-making a social and fun process. In a space where the living room and kitchen co-exist, more possibilities of social relations can arise.
From the above examples (3), we can realize that space is in fact constructed by society, while social relations are moulded by the form of space. Then, what are the basic social aspects that we should consider in order to improve the youth’s living condition in Taipei?
We believe a shareconomy developed through internet technology and social platforms may bring positive changes. 9floor currently provides five co-living apartments in Taipei. It aims to challenge people’s imagination of “home” and encourage them to re-imagine the possibilities of “home.” At 9floor, the living room can become a co-working space, the kitchen can be open for communal dining, the balcony can become a space for coffee and reading etc. Sharing spaces with others for activities may not be rare in the city, but we try to adopt the practice at homes where people live. This is also why we describe our homes as “co-living,” rather than “co-housing,” spaces. What 9floor hopes to provide is more than residences. It is more about the living experience. We believe the mutually benefitting way of co-living will extend and deepen all the meanings a “home” can bring.
This co-living community consists of 13 adults and 17 children, including the Han people, people of the Truku, Atayal, Seediq and Bunun tribes. When they first came together as a group, they decided to move to Taitung County and buy houses together. They finally settled in Yilan. A pair of couple in the community shared in an interview that they realized there are many advantages of co-living. Apart from what they expected – sharing the work of childcare in daily life – they could also share meals and share the cost of water, electricity and grocery, which have effectively cut cost for them as small families.
Co-housing apartments first appeared in Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands in Europe. Their initial aim to allow working mothers to share the work of childcare evolved and became a co-housing lifestyle for friends. As people in society age, friends that share apartments together may also seek caring services as a community. As a result, this way of co-living has become a new option of welfare facilities nowadays.
A “share house” is a residency that is shared by several people who live together. The charm of a share house is the sense of community. For example, there will be someone there to say “welcome back!” when you return home. You’ll have friends you can talk to about problems you can’t mention at work.
With 12 share houses each with its own unique character and sophisticated interior design, the ReBITA Share Place is the place for comfortable, stylish and communal living in Tokyo.Our groundbreaking buildings are dotted around Tokyo at cool and convenient locations, and there are grand total of 736 rooms.
1.、2. 多摩聖蹟共居公寓，來源：康健雜誌。3. 台灣宜蘭共居家庭，來源：公視。4. 東京共居公寓，來源：關鍵評論網
Images (Top to bottom): 1 & 2. Collective Housing Corporation in Tokyo. Source: Common Health Magazine. 3. Co-living families in Yilan, Taiwan. Source: Public Television Services. 4. A co-living apartment in Tokyo. Source: The News Lens.
(1) Reference from the page of “Cohousing” on Wikipedia
(2) Taipei Home Dreamer. In Chinese. China Times Publishing Co., 2015.
(3) If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of The Home. Chinese Translation. Book Republic, 2014.