Kapiti Lifestyle: The Lotus Eco Village in Kapiti is a current example of co-housing.
Kapiti will soon see the grand opening of the Lotus Eco Village in Paraparaumu.
The Lotus Eco Village emerged out of the Lotus Yoga Centre and is a new housing initiative incorporated eco design and cohousing principles for people living together in an intentional community.
Chair of the Eco Village group Ralph Wallace says the Lotus Yoga Centre was established in Wellington in 1971, and in 1985 relocated to Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast.
"Then in 2011 in response to some fundamental issues concerning debt and other economic fundamentals, and property maintenance (or lack there-of), a kernel of an idea began to emerge for some degree of property development. Drawing on an original vision of community for the Yoga Centre, plans began to germinate for creating a holistic village environment incorporating the Lotus Yoga Centre," says Mr Wallace.
"Fast forward nine years and from what was two years ago a property consisting of a hundred plus year old villa, a 20 year old colonial style cottage, and a meditation sanctuary overlooking a tranquil pond, we now have twenty five house sites with four completed eco-houses plus a 400 mē Community / Yoga Centre all set in eight and a half acres of partially clad regenerating native bush backing onto the first line of the Tararua Range's foothills."
Mr Wallace says the site is a hive of activity as construction and landscaping work proceeds at pace on nine house sites plus the installation of services water, sewage, electricity and internet.
"With services completed in the next few days, the community/yoga centre will very soon burst into life. Four houses will be occupied, with five more houses completed and occupied in the months ahead. By which time five more houses will have begun construction."
Mr Wallace says these cycles of construction and occupation will proceed progressively until the whole village is completed in 2023.
Running parallel to this physical construction will be the formation of human settlement and community.
"Already little by little our fledgling community has been growing month by month as people have been drawn to join us in this dynamic social adventure, working where we can on the land and developing friendships with each other. Significantly we have created a living document entitled our "Guidelines and Principles" which can be found on our website," says Mr Wallace.
Co-housing What is it?
"Co-housing is a term coined by two American Architects, Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett, to describe a housing arrangement developed in Denmark over the last 30 years, adopted increasingly throughout Europe and North America, and now New Zealand. As a model, we intend to implement this concept here at Lotus Eco Village.
"Developed and managed by the residents themselves, it combines the autonomy of private dwellings with the advantages of community living. Although individual dwellings are designed to be self-contained each having its own kitchen, bathroom, and living areas the extensive common facilities and in particular, optional common house dinners, are valued features of co-housing."
For more see: www.lotusecovillage.nz