enters of London, ask yourselves this: when was the last time your landlord organised a yoga session in your home? Or a cooking class? Or arranged room service? Or after-work drinks? Or inserted a swimming pool on top of your building? Or a library in your front room? Or even came round to clean your home and change your linen?
Enter the concept of co-living, and the pioneering company behind this leap forward for the capital’s renters: The Collective. Members at its two London locations – the 550-room The Collective Old Oak in west London, and the 705-room world’s largest co-living building in Canary Wharf – benefit from an entirely new approach to urban living.
“Being part of The Collective means a lot more than just having your own private space,” explains Ed Thomas, The Collective’s Customer Experience and Insight Lead. “You can meet new people. You can try new things. And to have your home thought of more as an experience than just a place you live is really quite radical.”
Convenience is at the heart of this bold new way of living, which offers flexible-length membership agreements for people to either stay or live. The cost of living all comes in one hassle-free bill, including a private en-suite or studio apartment, access to Covid-safe shared spaces, like a gym, cinema, spa and co-working spaces, Wi-Fi, utilities, and full access to the many digital and in-real-life cultural events The Collective puts on every week.
A new way of living
In these testing times, a key component of The Collective’s mission comes to the fore – that of developing new notions of community as well as combating societal issues such as loneliness.
“I love being around people,” says member Charlie Seligman. “At The Collective, I've managed to avoid the social isolation that so many have felt recently. Events like yoga, talks, a buddy system and cocktail making, even when these have moved to virtual, have really kept the community together.”
Wellness and self-care have always been a priority at The Collective, and over the past year it has facilitated several ways for members to look after themselves and each other. The events programme shifted to a hybrid solution where members could enjoy in-person or virtual events, depending on lockdown restrictions.
The Collective has also partnered with a range of experts to introduce workshops and practices to help members find balance and stay mentally healthy, such as collaborating with Nike head coach Cory Wharton-Malcolm to offer members access to his cult 'Vibercise' interval training workouts.
“I feel so grateful to have been here during this time because I haven't felt isolated or lonely at all.” says Eloise Le Santo, who lives at The Collective Canary Wharf. “Having cleaners and maintenance and the front desk on site has made life so easy when I’ve been super-tired and busy.”
Community, culture and convenience
What's more, adopting cutting-edge technology, The Collective offers 24-hour support and concierge services.
“Much like a mobile app is getting updates and improving, our team is doing the same thing for our members’ experience,” Thomas explains. “We’re continuously pushing the envelope.”
The result is truly disruptive. Members might come for the convenience or the events, but they will take away a real sense of togetherness, all while living in high-spec, forward-thinking buildings.
“The Collective wants you to succeed, and for you to express your personality, and that is pretty revolutionary,” says Thomas. “We like to challenge the status quo, and to recognise that our members are all unique. This isn’t renting – it’s co-living, and it’s the best way of living in cities.”
For more information, go to thecollective.com