“Wunschnachbarn” project, Cologne

The Wunschnachbarn GbR planning consortium is building a self-organised, multigenerational housing project on a formerly derelict industrial site. A cohousing floor specially designed for elderly people has four small, self-contained flats which are connected by a common hallway and an additional communal kitchen. The idea is to enhance residents’ everyday life through contact with neighbours and the provision of mutual support. The model project is designed as a shared housing complex with a special focus on ensuring a balanced resident mix in terms of age and social group.


  • ‡‡A total of 11 freehold housing units withvariable layouts measuring between 38.5 and 123 square meters
  • Of these, five family units for between two and four people
  • Average price €3,700 per square meter, with either grants or discounts of between 6 and 6.5 percent
  • Cohousing floor with four small housing units measuring between 38.5 and 46.5 square meters, each with a balcony, combined bath and shower, a small kitchenette and a communal kitchen (20.5 square meters)
  • The effective square-metre price for the units on the cohousing floor is around 12 percent lower than for those on the other floors (each of the four cohousing units is only allocated one-quarter of the financing costs applied per housing unit for the communal areas)
  • Communal room (36 square meters), communal garden and communal rooftop terrace (15 square meters)
  • Guest room (24 square meters) available for use by all residents

Provision of care and support

For residents in need of permanent care and support, a guest room can be used to accommodate nursing staff. This ensures that residents can remain in their homes longer should they become reliant on ongoing help and support.


The members of the building consortium form a general partnership (GbR) under German civil law. This will become the common ownership entity once the project is complete. As part of their partnership agreement, the partners agreed on a maximum cost threshold at an early stage so as to ensure that cost and planning security is guaranteed, especially for people with low incomes. The cohousing group forms an internal partnership, giving them special usage rights to the communal hallway and kitchen belonging to their respective flats.


Zorndorfstraße 7, 50737 Cologne, Germany