Lately, I’ve become very interested in live/work uses. This is not something that I have written much about over the years, but it is now on my mind for a few reasons.
One, many of us tried working from home for the first time over the last 21 months or so, and my understanding is that some people enjoy it. It’s not my preference, but I don’t represent everyone.
Two, photography is a hobby of mine and I’ve always thought it would be super fun to have a studio space to play around with on the weekends. If any of you have any suggestions or spaces available, please let me know.
Three, there are lots of urban conditions where retail doesn’t work, but a bit more ground-floor animation would be nice. This is commonly how live/work uses have been used. That said, I can think of a number of unsuccessful examples of this in Toronto. It’s tough to execute on.
And four, there are lots of instances of older non-conforming spaces throughout our cities serving this purpose: inexpensive spaces for people to live, work, and create in. Though often “illegal”, I believe they are important for fostering new ideas.
I don’t know what building this is and whether or not work functions are technically permitted (presumably they are), but it’s an example of what I’m talking about. Take a spin through the video embedded above. If you can’t see it, click here.
Should we be designing and creating our new residential spaces with multiple uses and this kind of flexibility in mind? Is there a big enough market for it? Does it devalue the pure residential aspect of the building knowing that your next door neighbor might have an office in their space, an artist studio, or a short-term Airbnb rental?
These are some of the things that I’ve been thinking about and I would love to hear thoughts in the comment section below.