The Collective Stratford, in London, UK, is described by its architects as a "new form of shared living accommodation." Like the Common in Brooklyn, US, it will provide affordable housing within a community. In addition, though, it will offer office space and a start-up incubator for its residents.

Both The Collective Stratford and Common are borne of the increasing demand for, and high cost of, housing in their respective cities. Both put a new twist on shared accommodation by aiming to be more than just a place to live. The Collective Stratford just goes a little further.

The Collective already runs a number of co-living projects across London, but The Collective Stratford is one of two that are due to open with additional facilities for business. "As the boundaries between life and work continue to blur, we also create workspaces for the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators," explains the company.

Designed by PLP Architecture, (which also designed Amsterdam's innovative Edge building), the accommodation is described as high-quality, as a hassle-free way of living and as being designed to foster a community within the building. The 30-story building will contain 330 new homes, including 223 co-living units and a number of serviced apartments.

The co-living units will typically offer 12 sq m (129 sq ft) of floor space and contain one to two bedrooms. Residents will be able to make use of communal kitchens, a guest lounge, a landscaped roof terrace, a cinema room, a games room, a library, a laundromat and a gym. Also provided will be a number of services, including a concierge, a weekly linen change, room cleaning, free Wi-Fi and an all-inclusive fee for utilities, broadband Internet and council tax.

There will be a public restaurant toward the top of the building and also a publicly-accessible free viewing gallery, which looks over the Olympic Park and London. At street level, there will be multi-purpose cultural and retail spaces.

The co-working space, to be located on the mezzanine level above the ground floor, is managed under The Collective’s Elevator brand. It is aimed at providing an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, start-ups and young businesses, with workspaces, a curated educational and social events program and an investment fund to give high-growth start-ups access to capital.

The building has been designed so that its amenities and services are organized around their distinct communities. Fitness and wellness amenities will be clustered together, for example, as will cultural spaces such as the library, screening room and art studio.

The Collective Stratford is due to open in 2018. A Collective development at Old Oak, which is currently under construction and scheduled to complete early next year, also combines incubator commercial space with co-living units.

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