What does this community look like?

When we find our land we will build a variety of artist homes including flats (condos), townhouses and single family homes with room for art-making studios in each.  They will be clustered around a common house.  The vision of the artists village includes the cohousing community for artists and art-lovers, families and other cohousers, plus galleries, studios, restaurants and other art-related businesses all situated in a commercial residential area.

The common house is an extension of the homes.  It includes more art-making spaces and spaces needed for daily living within a cohousing community such as a kitchen and dining room for common meals, mail and communications room, a gathering place for group get-togethers and art events, gallery space, performance space, guest rooms, a media room, laundry, and a childrens art and play room.

The arts village includes homes, a common house and may include many of the following: art-related commercial businesses, and non-profit art-related services such as studios, art co-ops, rehearsal/performance spaces, and studios.

Shared studio space on site may be built by Synergy Arts non-profit.  Artists cohousing members and a growing community of local people with art in their hearts can pay a small monthly fee and have 24/7 access to art working spaces for ceramics, painting, mixed media, metals, wood, music, dance, art events and media arts.

The commercial component adjacent to this includes art related businesses and may include a cafe.Wolfson in Studio


  • Site Plan: Homes are clustered around a central courtyard or pedestrian street. Site includes shared Studios, gallery and potentially a Café for public access.
  • Transportation: Car-free pedestrian lanes in the common areas. No streets or cars in the central courtyard or walkway except delivery and emergency vehicles. Parking is located so that people walk by the common house to get to their homes. Ample parking spaces per household. Secure Bike parking. Home art studios need car access.
  • Location of the Common House: Residents walk passed the common house on their way to their cars or leaving the village. Daily use of the is encouraged by all residents. Mail is delivered there. Common meals several times per week.
  • Child Friendly Environment – safe places to play, playground, hardscape, toy storage, homework and toy rooms in common house.  Neighbors naturally become friends and watch out for each other’s children and share appropriate responsibilites.
  • Older Senior and Handicapped Friendly Environment – safety includes lighting, minimization of steps up and tripping hazards.  Planned places to keep children’s toys off of walking paths, first floor bedrooms, wide doorways and car access to homes.
  • Transitional Spaces: Design of indoor & outdoor spaces and transitional spaces that support spontaneous social atmosphere and community life. Sensitive transitions such as picnic tables at strategic points create gathering places in view of the common house. Gatherings around playgrounds.
  • The Common House is designed to encourage community, and conserve energy, time and money. Important considerations are spatial relationships, multi-purpose rooms and community resources such as community shelter-in-place/generators and extra chair/table/bike and tool-share storage. A community plaza and patio dining area is adjacent for larger outdoor gatherings.
  • Private homes: Co-housing homeowners have access to significant semi-shared resources within the community. Private homes are usually about 15% smaller than non-cohousing homes. Kitchens in cohousing often look onto the common area. Artist’s homes each have a studio/work room some of which open to the common areas and access is designed so it can be incorporated into living space.

Description of Artists Cohousing Design:Alkonis2ByChip

The  individual homes or attached homes in artists cohousing are one and two story, handicapped accessible, potentially artist lofts, flats, and single family homes.  Each has an optional studio or art workspace that opens to the common area.  Some have room for a bedroom in case stairs ever pose a problem. Casual planned low upkeep greenspace. Architecture could be retro, modern, or avant garde.

Private Outdoor Space:

The front of each home is welcoming and designed for community interaction. It has a personal front entrance, personal walkway, transitional space for sitting and visiting with neighbors and family. It has space for plants, bikes, toys and options for customization.

Storage: Homes have secure storage for each family. This can be in a basement or adjacent to the homes or close to parking. It may be insulated and it needs to be water tight to store art. Artists need personal space to keep art.

Live/Work Art Studio: The studio for each home can function as a garage or living room or other living space.  Some artists use this space for giving music lessons.  Some keep art on display here or use it as an office or studio. A windowed-opening-garage-door can be opened on warm nights or open studio days.  A car could be parked somewhere near or inside for handicapped or temporarily handicapped access or seasonal access to residence when the whether is dangerous. The studio needs to be heated/cooled/insulated, with big windows, plumbing and electrical and should open to a walkway too. A home art-related business could be operated.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATina with drumThe COMMON OUTDOOR area includes a well-lit walkway from the car parking. It includes a central courtyard with gathering space for music events, sculpture garden with water and electricity available, a fire ring and picnic tables, a playground for children under 12, potentially volleyball or outdoor games for adults, and it should be a main gathering area with inviting places to congregate, play music and to do art activities and to interact. It could include the vegetable/permaculture/organic garden. We may choose to have the garden area outside the housing area of the community and open it to others in the community.  The kid play space needs storage for kid playthings so older residents don’t trip over them.  Trash, compost and recycling center are needed.

The Local Community outside cohousing:

In the public areas of the community we have a welcoming front area that borders street/public sidewalk may include be a flower/bee garden and perma garden. This needs to be both inviting to the community.

Sculpture Garden: Possibilities for changing series of sculpture and outdoor art creations – electrical access and water are crucial component of the community.


Music places are important.  We prefer multi use spaces whenever possible to include both summer and winter uses.

Having a community garden is part of the sustainability plan.  The garden is run by cohousing for residents and local community alike. The garden should be designed as a multi-use space for occasional art-in-the-garden community events.

Parking: Parking should be located somewhat away from homes near common house so in good whether people come out their doors into the common area to go places which will provide for community interactions. Parking in the community is “cohousing style” meaning separate from houses.  It can include overflow public parking.   Cars can access the homes for moving in and out.  Except for emergency vehicles and deliveries, cars generally do not go through the central area of the community.  10 mph speed limit.

Bicycles and Tools: A space is needed for secure covered place to park bikes. This space can also be used for shared outdoor garden and a household tool crib and storage for community furniture such as extra folding chairs for events. This is readily accessibly to residents, 24/7 storage, which locks and has a combination.

Cohousing Artist Outdoor Working Spaces:

A multi-use outdoor arts workspace for cohousing which is an indoor/outdoor space for messy or big art working. It can be used during the winter and equipment has some protection from elements.  It may be part of the common house.

This includes plumbing and wiring and disposal provisions for cement, metal, raku, and kiln wood. Yard is accessible to both cohousing and shared artist studio members.

Common House

The common house should be between parking and homes and it should be central to the community. People need to come there and walk by there daily to get mail and interact, meet and eat.  Meals will be shared several times every week.

CommHseCookingDiningRmCohoKitchen: The Common House Kitchen is a place where 3 to 4 cooks can work at a time making meals. The dining room could be a multi use room with a durable surface floor suitable for dance and yoga and arts and crafts as well as common meals and meetings.  It opens to an outdoor dining area. It seats 72. It has a storage space for folding or stacking chairs and tables to comfortably accommodate community meals and events. Chairs and tables and floors should be durable materials. They should be designed so they can be moved easily out of the way out of sight. With the right kind of tables and chairs, acoustics and lighting, the dining room can be a multi purpose room. Good acoustics and heating and wiring to make it useable for music/performance/movies/dance. Spaces for art need to be changeable regularly. Common house can include rooftop dining option. Common house may need space for shared studios as an interim solution prior to building shared studios.

The common house may include some or all of the Following:MailRoom

  • Dining room and kitchen.
  • Living Room/Media Library
  • Music Area (multipurpose)
  • Storage
  • Laundry Room
  • Bathrooms
  • Entry, Mudroom and Mail Room
  • Kids Room/crafts/homework
  • Common house gallery, party, practice/meeting Room w/door.
  • Artist Residency spaces and guest rooms (2) with 1 or 2 baths.

Non-profit commercial component built nearby for local community involvement may include a restaurant, visitor center, and Gallery and Shared Studios, classrooms, performance spaces and art businesses.AmyHoward

Shared Studios with Gallery may include:

  • Studio space for artists to share
  • Gallery space
  • Exhibit space/multi-use community events and performances
  • Monthly open-air markets and events
  • Common areas for meetings
  • Classes/open studio nights
  • Cafe
  • Office space for administration

Description of Studio Spaces Wish List:

  • Studios with street entrance/ventilation/light/high ceilings/durable surfaces
  • Painting and mixed media w/sink, north-facing window wall for natural light, view of outdoors, storage.
  • Pottery with Teaching space (2 to 4 rooms) & Kilns/Sink. Outside kiln yard access.
  • Warm glass area physically separated.
  • Jewelry and small metal.
  • Wood Shop in a separate building.Maggie applying finish to Han Horse Oct 2012_sm
  • CLASSROOM – Windows and sound insulation and adjacent to all studio resources via double doors. Windows to halls. Used as music practice room.
  • Bathrooms
  • Gallery
  • Walkways
  • Small Office

Individual Homes:

Comfortable, well-lit and functional homes with a good open layout, storage space, space for entertaining and comforts such as fresh air circulation and internal light. Utility area for mud room, laundry and pet needs. Space to expand including first floor bedrooms in case they are needed.

For cohousing each home needs to be on a walkway with a front porch or a covered gathering space in front of it and a space for a little planting. Styles should be versatile.


What will Artists Cohousing architecture look like?  Sample possibilities:


Technoarchitecture    RussianRiverArchitecture






Picture of Harmony village cohousing and common house, Golden, CO.


To receive meeting notices, updates and progress reports join our Meet-Up: www.meetup.com/artists-housing-community

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