The concept is still laying the first bricks in Portugal, but it is in sites close to universities, large companies or office parks and public transport that coliving finds space to take root. In July 2022, one of the main university campuses in the city will increase the residential offer to a very specific public: students and young workers, with a building of 280 apartments, between studios and one-bedrooms.
If the closure of universities during the first lockdown alienated students, remote working did not have the same effect on younger professionals (between 25 and 35 years old), who found in the concept of coliving a way of, living alone, and during the pandemic, do not feel isolated.
For this reason, and for the confidence in the resumption of old routines, Smart Studios will start the construction in Asprela of a residence aiming at these two types of public. There will be 280 apartments to rent, with common features such as meeting rooms, study rooms, dining rooms, lounge areas, gym and a space for practicing fitness and yoga.
In an interview to Dinheiro Vivo, the administrator of Smart Studios, Vera Kendall, states that, amid the pandemic, “coliving turns out to be the ideal solution for this new reality. Our residents have the option of working alone in their studios with a desk, wi-fi, private bathroom and kitchenette so that they don't have to leave their home, but we also have large study rooms that can be used, guaranteeing the necessary safe distancing".
The concept of living in shared spaces started to gain strength in the city with the construction - still underway - of a coliving unit for a senior population. It focuses on transforming two centuries-old houses and an old working-class neighbourhood on Rua do Bonjardim, next to Trindade Metro station, into 39 apartments. The site, with 3,200 square meters of construction, will respect the "façade qualities, morphology, volume of the buildings of the 19th century", because the idea was "to take the buildings and the working-class neighbourhood of the early 20th century and bring the building into the 21st century, increasing its qualities", the company’s spokesperson in Portugal, Luís Afonso Oliveira, told Lusa in November last year.
In addition to these spaces, there will be a restaurant, rooms for yoga and Pilates classes, a lounge with kitchen, a multipurpose room with terrace and interior spaces. The national partners of the Israeli startup also explained that the option for Porto was due “to its teeming community of expats from all over Europe”, but also to the “unique spatial and historical quality” of the space in the city centre.