Daybreak Cohousing

Schemata Workshop
Firm Contact: 
Peggy Heim

Client Vision: Growing community, diversity and ecology in an urban village.

Development of the Daybreak Cohousing Community was resident-driven with an egalitarian group process and consensus-driven decision making. Buildings and outdoor space promote, encourage and support community interaction and engagement. Sustainability here is a holistic approach to growing the individual and the community in their relationship to each other and their environment.

To develop the building program, the design team led future residents through three days of workshops focused on common areas, private dwellings and sustainability. For this urban infill site, twelve apartments were deconstructed and replaced with 30-dwellings and extensive common areas including a large central courtyard for active play and a patio adjacent to the existing maple tree. A 7,000sf Common House includes a commercial kitchen, separate spaces for community dining, children’s play, living, media, guests, art, laundry, a yoga studio, indoor bicycle parking, workshops, and private storage.

Daybreak is a neighborhood within a neighborhood and the buildings have two facades that mediate public to private social zones: one looking inward to the community and another out to the greater neighborhood. Kitchens are directly adjacent to the courtyard, serving as a semi-private transition from common areas into the dwelling. Living rooms are located further away from the courtyard for a greater sense of privacy. The Common House is the central hub of activity and nearly all kitchens have a direct line of sight to enhance the connection of private home to common areas and community life.


Good design makes a difference

American Institute of Architects

A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects