Firma Kunst is a co-housing initiative of six participants over 65. In a short but powerful process Woonpioniers has made the dreams and ambitions of the group tangible in a design sketch. An important step that offers a clear framework not only internally, but also towards the municipality and potential later participants.
Firma Kunst in its own words:
Community living, with or without care, is of great value to society and connects people. Togetherness is just as natural as space for privacy. Living together with self-management keeps people self-reliant; they stay healthy longer and there is more well-being. This provides safety, counteracts loneliness and promotes self-reliance together. Young people and the elderly, people who are healthy and people with disabilities are important to each other and to the neighborhood. Society has a great interest in communal living, also because of the aging of the population.
Firma Kunst, is an initiative of 6 Doetinchemmers (Doetinchem is a town in the east of the Netherlands). We consciously give shape to our wish to be able to live independently, to optimally use our own strength and to live and build sustainably. Not just energetically, but also by sharing things, spaces and infrastructure. Both privately, within the group and to the wider environment, there is an open, friendly climate that is not focused on competition. We leave each other free and respect everyone's individuality. We enjoy good, sweet, active neighbors. We undertake joint activities in which the wider environment can also be involved. We keep each other mentally and physically fit.
Our project has a certain openness to the public domain, but that does not come at the expense of our need for (group) privacy. Our project is so well put together (“we go for an 8”) that we arouse the interest of the outside world. We do not find it objectionable (and also fit into our mission) that we are open to this and are therefore willing to share our experiences with others if desired.
In terms of lifestyle the project participants have a lot in common. We can share goods and maintain a garden together. We want to grow old together, even when things are more difficult mentally or physically. The yard directly around the houses, outbuildings and (common) garden is group private.