Phoenix Cohousing Lewes

Archio have been invited as collaborators to work on the Phoenix Project, a masterplan for a new sustainable community in Lewes, East Sussex. Lewes-based organization Human Nature have acquired an extraordinary site on the South Downs Way.

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The masterplan is comprised of a number of smaller interventions, with a range of designers and architectural practices working in collaboration to build a cohesive, walkable, self-contained neighbourhood. Archio’s contribution is a block of cohousing – an intentional community built around an increased number of shared spaces and spirit of conviviality.

The proposal draws on the unique character of Lewes to try to capture its spirit of friendliness and community on a smaller scale, creating a neighbourhood in which residents have their own private home while also having access to a wider range of communal spaces and shared resources.

In September 2021, Archio took part in the Phoenix Design Festival, a three-day community event in Lewes based around sharing ideas and presenting the scheme to the public. We brought our early design thoughts alongside questions and other points of interactivity encouraging engagement, with the aim of starting a conversation with the local community in Lewes. The festival allowed us the opportunity to hear invaluable feedback, thoughts and ideas, helping us to understand how best the scheme can benefit the people of Lewes.

The Phoenix Project is currently at pre-planning stage.