play:space – architecture

Architecture

Many buildings in one

To avoid contributing to urban sprawl and remain connected to the wider community in Cluj-Napoca, we want play:space to be located in the city; somewhere that's easy to reach without a car. Instead, we need to get creative in order to provide space at a price that budding eco entrepreneurs can afford.

Compact co-living makes urban living affordable

Living alone in a big house surely isn’t the route to happiness, yet many of us unthinkingly follow the path to ever bigger living spaces, which need more materials to construct and more energy to heat and cool. If we move out of the city, this leads to urban sprawl, swallowing up valuable agricultural land and encouraging farmers to move further into wild areas.

Cluj Napoca, with the highest rents in all of Romania, threatens to force out the artists and entrepreneurs, harming the innovation that made our city great. Despite producing thousands of talented graduates each year, high living costs force many to move away as soon as their studies are over.

We believe that clever interior design can provide a solution.

As described above, we want to create an ‘urban ecovillage’ inside a single building. It will be a multi-functional space that maximises utilisation throughout the day and night. This efficient use of space will allow us to provide affordable living and co-working space for entrepreneurs who are working on environmentally beneficial projects.

A few ideas for building facilities are suggested in the table below.

Profit-making uses for semi-public accessCost neutral (break even)
for selected eco entrepreneurs
A boutique vegan restaurant that uses the freshest ingredients from local producers

Relaxing lounge bar & cafe

An urban farm producing high quality, organic salad and vegetables through space efficient hydroponic, aquaponic and soil-based growing

Yoga and pilates classes

Swimming pool and sauna

Meeting room and event space hire

Studio space and audio-video
recording equipment rental

Private offices for teams

Compact studio apartments for rent and short term stays
Affordable co-living space, with compact living ‘pods’ and access to shared facilities

Simple but healthy meals on an affordable subscription basis

Coworking desks and meeting ‘booths’

Access to a supportive community of mentors, investors and specialists

Clever design will be essential to achieving all of these functions within a limited space. Flexible furniture is required so that almost every room can be quickly transformed for at least two distinct uses per day.

Exploring possibilities

In ‘van life’, you trade living space for exploring the world. In this ‘urban ecovillage’, you trade it for being part of a supportive eco-community or to have the flexibility to work on impactful, innovative projects without worrying about money. In both cases, clever interior design means that compact living can be just as comfortable as living in a ‘regular’ apartment.

Photo credits: Pexels, Nicolás Boullosa, Jonathan Melhuish, WikiMedia Commons, CASA IDEA DESIGN, EvoHouse