RIBA Boyd Auger Scholarship

John Killock

Exploration of the potential for co-housing to be used as an evolving typology for the 'Third Age' within the UK

School of Lost Skills - (Experimental Co-housing design scheme)

School of Lost Skills - (Experimental Co-housing design scheme) John Killock Diploma Year 1, University of Westminster

This research project recognises the growing problem of an ageing population within the western world and the specific issue of suitable and sustainable accommodation for a new generation of older people. It is proposed to explore the suitability of co-housing as a typology for this demographic group, learning from existing examples and how this could be used as part of the solution for housing an ageing population in the context of the UK. Co-housing, although not a complete solution, has the potential to benefit the rest of society through strengthened communities, reduced healthcare demands, a more environmental solution to housing and the potential of a reduced generational divide.

Currently in the UK there is a very small number of recently completed co-housing schemes, which vary considerably in their size, demographic make-up and architectural design. The research will include a field investigation of the current UK co-housing schemes under development to identify the progress made to date on co-housing and whether any of these schemes are inclusive to older members of society and whether the design of these schemes has been influenced by UK culture. This will be followed by an exploration of European schemes (the 'official' starting place of the co-housing movement) and an exploration of some of the later schemes trialed in the USA.

Architecture can play a significant role in the way our current housing typologies evolve for the next generation of older people. With the support of the Boyd Auger bursary it is hoped to contribute to a better understanding of the architectural needs of this changing demographic group, and whether co-housing could play a greater role in the future of UK housing.

His full report can be downloaded below:


John Killock is currently undertaking his RIBA Part II Diploma in Architecture at the University of Westminster. Last year his research topic explored how co-housing could be used as a typology to reduce the generational divide between old and young, and how co-housing could be combined with productive typologies not normally associated with housing.

Aged 18, John undertook a year in industry at an engineering consultancy with a focus on environmental and ecological planning. He then went on to study Architecture and Planning at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.

While in Bristol John undertook a six-week voluntary work placement with a community organisation where he worked on the regeneration of an area in South Bristol, served two years as an RIBA national student representative, undertook an intensive Erasmus exchange programme and worked in a number of architectural practices where he contributed to some pioneering projects including the winning entry for the Lawrenny sustainable village. Tom Russell Architects and was a key player in the design, construction and co-ordination of the BaleHaus @ Bath: White Design Associates - a prototype house using a revolutionary method of prefabricated straw bale construction. 


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