Each project we develop is unique and for us it is very important to analyse them to measure their success. This is not always an easy task because what we design is not only related to quantities.

Each project we develop is unique and for us it is very important to analyse them to measure their success. This is not always an easy task because what we design is not only related to quantities.

With our housing we want to create welcoming spaces, so that our tenants feel at home from the moment they walk through the front door. This is a difficult goal to achieve, as there is no set process for achieving a welcoming environment, so we have to create our own environment, the Colonies environment. We always try to keep certain elements of the existing structure, because they give the house an added value that we could not create otherwise, they tell a story. For example, an old staircase can show the signs of time, but it also gives the impression that the space is inhabited and it gives an insight into the history of the house. A little imperfection can create a warm environment, but we must always balance this with functionality and efficiency (for example, old windows can be charming, but if they don't work properly, they can negatively affect the tenants' experience and well-being). Tenants are, in fact, at the centre of our projects and, for this reason, our job is not over when we open a house, when we gain the trust of new residents, when we receive their feedback. Our job is to have an ongoing conversation and connection with them to maintain a friendly environment and really understand their opinions and user experience. This is how our choices have evolved since the first house opened, increasingly tailoring 'the box' to its contents.

What is essential for us is that we don't just want to design spaces, we want to design experiences. We want to make the stay at the Colonies unique for our tenants, something they will remember for the rest of their lives.However, at the end of the day, a house is not a house without a community within it and this is something that goes beyond our faculty. We cannot plan for something to have a natural evolution, but we can ensure that we provide the best opportunities for this to happen. Human connections will always be the first and most important in everyone's life, and our intention is to support them as much as possible. These are some of the steps in our process of creating a sense of well-being, a process where most decisions are a balance between technicality and perceptions, and this changes for each project. Every time and every project is a new process, because there is no formula we can rely on and, above all, we don't want to have one. We want to keep the human factor alive and the only way to perceive it is to design with both our minds and our hearts.

That's why each project is unique, that's the beauty of being immeasurable.

Carlotta Valente is a junior architect in the Colonies product team.

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Colonies