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Collaborative design of Older Women ' s CoHousing

Patrick Devlin (Pollard Thomas Edwards, London, United Kingdom)
Rachel Douglas (Older Women’s CoHousing, London, United Kingdom)
Tom Reynolds (Pollard Thomas Edwards, London, United Kingdom)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 14 December 2015




CoHousing provides a new approach in the UK to older people’s housing, and meets a clear demand for similarly minded groups of individuals who would like to grow old together. The purpose of this paper is to explore how a Collaborative Design Process (CDP) can work, as applied to a soon-to-be realised project in North London.


Report by the architects with comment from an end user on a CDP including end users, architect, developer and housing association management.


A group of individuals that has invested in building decision-making capacity can participate meaningfully in the design of their future homes.

Research limitations/implications

This research was focused on one development, so work on a wider range of projects would help test its validity.

Social implications

Older Women’s CoHousing (OWCH), and similar projects, demonstrate an appetite for: mutually supportive, intentional communities; planned downsizing and contemporary, sociable design for the third age of life.


The CDP developed for OWCH was comprehensively documented. It has already been adapted for further cohousing developments, and is intended to continue to evolve with the demands made on it.



The authors would like to thank Hanover, Housing for Women, Philip Pank Partnership, Maria Brenton and Stephen Morris and Tim Metcalfe at Pollard Thomas Edwards.


Devlin, P., Douglas, R. and Reynolds, T. (2015), "Collaborative design of Older Women ' s CoHousing", Working with Older People, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 188-194.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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