I came across this little dream yesterday while skimming through Dwell magazine. Two Toronto couples and their kids had the dream to buy property, and put small neighboring cabins on it. Due to tight zoning regulations they could only have one "house". So they got creative with the design..
"Their final scheme consists of a massive shed—a post-and-beam structure of Douglas fir, 20 feet high at its apex—that shelters two separate, fully insulated structures. They’re connected underground in a linked basement, where two mechanical rooms hold water heaters and an electrical system (solar panels on the roof offset power from the grid). Aboveground, each couple has a 15-by-30-foot home with views to the outside, plus an adjoining sleeping cabin for guests. “There is an intentionality about what is separate and what is shared,” Janzen says. The expense and maintenance of the electrical systems are pooled and the outdoor spaces are common ground. Almost every day, communal lunches and dinner parties unfold on the porch, which is outfitted with swings and Japanese lanterns."
If money fell in my lap (and I expect it to-hehe).. This is the type of "compound" I would build. Communal living, but still very private. I love the guest houses for more space. I don't see the need to have the individual "cabins" so large. It sure is pretty to look at though. I would change a few things, but I am not here to pick it apart. I just wanted to share a beautiful friend, and family retreat. To show that communal housing really can really be a beautiful and economical option.
See more photos and read the entire article here at Dwell. Article name is Time-Share.