Rome is one of the least affordable cities in the world due to a number of reasons. The lingering influence of corruption, mixed with a market flooded with so-called “micro-apartments” - tiny properties with just 10, 7 or even 4 square metres of floor space - has created quite the predicament for those looking to live in Rome on a budget.
As major cities are becoming less affordable, they are also becoming more lonely, with individuals feeling more isolated and separated from each other than ever. The concept of collective living has existed for hundreds of years, and is only just beginning to re-emerge in western societies. Communities are created through intentional architecture which creates shared spaces in which residents interact in numerous different ways, from sharing meals and socialising to sharing the burden of child care.
For the Rome Collective Living Challenge, participants are tasked with designing a concept for affordable housing in Rome that fits the ideals of a co-living lifestyle. This competition is a chance for architecture enthusiasts to conceive an entirely new way of living, one that experiments with the concept of low-income housing as a collective. Rather than rolling out hundreds of new tiny apartments in Rome’s city centre, collective living could offer something more than just an affordable place to live; a community to live in within the hustle and bustle of Italy’s capital.
Designs should be minimal in their requirements of land and materials so that they could potentially be rolled out across the city to increase housing stock capacity. No minimum size or amount of the residential units per block has been set, and proposals should be flexible enough to adapt to different locations, sizes, and inhabitant capacity requirements.
There are no pre-selected competition sites and so participants are free to choose any appropriate theoretical site in Rome. A key factor that participants must keep in mind for the Rome Collective Living Challenge is that this is not a simple housing solution - rather it is a new concept in community living, and would need to be developed following the co-living principles.