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Architecture by McCamant & Durrett Architects

Cohousing: The Power of Community

Cohousing: The power of community. Thoughts from a cohousing pioneer.

My Background:

Charles Durrett, with Kathryn McCamant, introduced the concept of cohousing to the United States with the seminal book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. The latest edition is Creating Cohousing, Building Sustainable Communities. He has written several other books on cohousing, including Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living—The Handbook.


Durrett and his team at McCamant & Durrett Architects | The Cohousing Company have designed more than 50 cohousing communities in the United States and around the world, including Muir Commons in Davis, California, the first cohousing community in North America. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, Architecture, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and many other publications.


Charles Durrett has received numerous awards, which include the Silver Achievement Award for Active Adult Community by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) 50+ Housing Council, the Silver Energy Value Housing Award by NAHB, the World Habitat Award presented by the United Nations, and the Mixed Use/Mixed Income Development Award presented jointly by the American Institute of Architects and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. He was also recently declared as a “visionary of the Sierras” by the Sierra Business Council.


Durrett regularly gives presentations on cohousing to interested citizen groups. He has spoken before the United States Congress, has been featured on the Commonwealth Club, and has lectured at scores of universities. He lives with his wife, Katie, in Nevada City, California, where he primarily designs model communities and comfortable homes, including the 34-home cohousing community in which he lives.

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