We develop sustainable housing and concepts based on communal ways of living.

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The goal and aim of the Gaining by Sharing housing model is to increase the social, environmental, economic and architectural qualities of a project through the creation of sustainable communities that are based around communal ways of living. 


CO2 emissions are reduced by using timber as the primary construction material and by sharing common spaces and resources to minimise the total build area.


Owning less individually and enjoying access to much more collectively creates the opportunity to save more economically. 


Increased quality of life and access to the support of a social community within a healthy and safe environment. 


High quality architectural living environment designed specifically to facilitate sharing. 

Architecture for sharing

Gaining by Sharing centers around the concept that every inhabitant has their own private dwelling, slightly smaller than normal units, fully equipped and organized around generous and inspiring shared spaces. Shared spaces are well integrated – becoming part of everyday life. The spatial concept is designed to create a shared environment that supports the community of the residents- to facilitate both informal meetings and planned social acitivities. 

Building a community

A community engagement process is central to the Gaining by Sharing model, with a series of meetings and workshops as part of building a social community. This is key to ensure that the needs of the future users sits at the heart of the project. People can join workshops early in the process to become familiar with the concept, influence their own apartment and suggest activities for the common areas. Most importantly, it is a chance to get to know each other and engage in forming a future community. 


A licensed model

We offer Gaining by Sharing as a licensed model with access to an optimised system for designing a co-living structure, process description and communication material alongside architectural services. 

Process managament

We provide process management throughout the community engagement process mediating between the client, resident and architect. 



Vindmøllebakken is the first Gaining by Sharing project to be completed. The project consists of 40 private owned appartments sharing 500m2 of common space and functions. Shared spaces are at the heart of the project, physically and culturally. The calendar is alive with large dinners and events in the central space and parties in the cellar. These spaces are complimented by more reflective, calming spaces, including an attic library and meditation space. The Vindmøllebakken community is deliberately diverse. There are people of all ages, from small children to retirees, from different backgrounds. The diversity allows for residents to support each other in ways not always possible in standard housing developments.

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Gaining by Sharing Alta

In Alta, in the north of Norway, we are developing a project together with Svendsen entreprenør AS to create a medium density low-rise housing community constructed in timber. 40 units will share common functions such as a family room, communal fireplace and ski workshop space. The project aim to create an inclusive neighborhood of youth, families and elderly where people feel a sense of belonging and ownership of the community. 

Vindmøllebakken in Venice

At the 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, the Nordic Pavilion will respond to this year’s theme of ‘How will we live together?’ by transforming into an experimental cohousing project. With the exhibition What We Share. A model for cohousing Helen & Hard have encourage residents of Vindmøllebakken to develop a more radical version of communal housing: Which aspects of their private lives are they willing to move out of their apartments and share with other residents, and with the audience? 

Gaining by Sharing Voss

At a central site in Voss along the river Vosso Gaining by Sharing will be an example of a new wooden heritage building. 20 units will share a guest room, communal kitchen, library, roof terrace and large outdoor areas. These facilities are accessible to both residens and the neighbouring village residents. Under development in collaboration with Voss eigedom AS. 


Office: (+47) 406 40 672

If you are interested in developing a Gaining by Sharing project or would like to live in one, please contact Margrete.

Margrete Stople

Siv Helene Stangeland

Gründer / Developer


(+47) 952 25 766

Ane Skarpnes Dahl

Creative Director


BBC StoryWorks

Vindmøllebakken Cohousing community is featured in the BBC StoryWorks production. Produced by Innovasjon Norge the film explores the unique concepts behind the Gaining by Sharing housing model from the perspectives of the residents and architects.


Assemble Papers

“A dwelling is a very important building block for a sustainable society to work – that’s where personal health, the tribe and social sustainability are given a base to grow.” Stangeland and Kropf

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Social Design

Discussing how we can plan our cities and homes to better face the challenges of Covid19 and how the Cohousing community at Vindmøllebakken as been working to overcome isolation during a time of social distancing and lock down.

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TED Talk “Our House”

Inspiring architecture for our future – How would we live happier while responding meaningfully to climate change?

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Vindmøllebakken received the Innovation Award for Universal Design in the Architectural Category from Design og Arkitektur Norge 2021

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