A neighborhood living in one building formed by an online community


Internet opened the world for almost everybody, communication is not bounded to physical mobility anymore. Resulting in rapid globalization, more sharing of knowledge, more focus on specialization and mass urbanization. Nowadays, the focus is on gathering as much information as possible and connect to the whole world, sometimes people forget we are still living in a local environment. To keep up with globalization and especially with urbanization high rise residential buildings are built. Most of these buildings have as many dwellings as a small neighborhood. In contrast to a neighborhood most skyscrapers do not have public spaces. Public spaces provide place for residents to interact or to organize activities. The relationships, which arise at these places, are all based on local connections and contribute to a positive experience of the quality of living. Most residents relate the quality of their home to their surroundings. With their surroundings they mean, the relation with their neighbors, the quality and facilities of their neighborhood and the connection with the rest of the city. However, with a lack of public spaces in high rise residential buildings, the possibilities of having social interaction with neighbors is minimized.

(Future) residents of a building need to get connected with each other, by creating more opportunities for people to meet one and another. People who are connected can share the same interests, visions and dreams. They can share their ideas about their ideal neighborhood and together they can combine them to new ideas. To have the possibility to realize their ideas, to create their own, residents must have opportunities to influence their surroundings.

To connect future residents and to involve them in the design process and program of their high rise residential building, an online communication platform (Looco) is designed. Looco connects (future) residents, citizens and professionals and involves the users of the building in the design process and determining of the program of the building. The building can only be built if future residents collaborate and together make decisions, which has influence on the design and program of the building. The collaboration between residents is the reason why the building is given the name: The Collaborator.

Next to determining the program, stimulates Looco to share living functions. Residents can post on Looco, functions they want to share or rent, thus others can respond and they can meet each other. Looco also shows them practical benefits of sharing, like the costs. To, stimulate residents to share and to make it possible to easily change apartments and shared functions, a building with a flexible program is designed. The building consists out of two structures, the core structure, which contains all public spaces and the façades, and the infill structure, which makes it possible to create private spaces in the core structure, with the use of a box in a box principle. To create a low threshold for sharing spaces a new building system is designed (CoBrick), to easily reduce expand or demolish spaces inside the building. CoBrick consist out of 3D printed building elements, which can be placed by the residents. Because the elements are all 3D printed all kind of layouts are possible, which residents can create on Looco.

The Collaborator is shaped to connect to, and to be a continuation of its surroundings. The area where the building is in, the Emmasingel Quadrant in Eindhoven, is designed to attract citizen to the area with the use of a big city park, and commercial activity at the edges. The Collaborator is a continuation of the public spaces. In contrast to hallways and lobbies, which are mostly found in high rise buildings, The Collaborator has streets and squares inside the building, which are a continuation of the outside spaces. Those streets and squares are formed by the community, and creates places to interact and organize activities. The streets and squares are a continuation of the communities social life, it is part of their own created surroundings.

Looco connects residents with the same interest, visions and dreams, which results in more social interaction between neighbors. Neighbors who know each other, who share spaces and facilities and collaborate in creating their environment. This all is made possible by a building design with a flexible program, which can be easily changed by the residents with the use of CoBrick. Resulting in a neighborhood in one building formed by an online community. Where people can live in the middle of the city, enjoy live, and together with their neighbors pursue their dreams.

“Cultures and climates differ all over the world, but people are the same. They will gather in public if you give them a good place to do it.”

Jan Gehl, 2012

Complete thesis


Scenario model scale 1:33

Urban model scale 1:1000