From the Floor Up

Social Spaces: The Clubhouse Phenomenon in Multi-Unit Residences

Posted by Daltile Team on Apr 22, 2017 10:30:00 AM

The Millennial generation has been very influential—influential in design and lifestyle. Their full lifestyles demand a living space that gives them access to their most important priorities like connectivity, healthy activities, and social spaces.

 Apartment building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Online and real social interactions merge in the living space but most apartments are limited on square footage—enter the shared social space.

There are many ways to introduce social spaces in an apartment building. Here are four.


The lobby is first contact with residents and their guests. It can be merely functional, or it can be far more. Design it to be open and more like a lounge that invites residents to stay and even invite friends to join them. Add a big screen television or other forms of entertainment and you have an instant gathering place.


Outdoor entertaining space is very important to all homebuyers and renters right now. It’s a major perk at an apartment building and may tip some undecided renters over the edge. A patio or rooftop space that residents can use as needed or can reserve for special events is an excellent shared social space. I addition to the patio, some buildings are offering green spaces where residents can grow a small individual garden or join a community garden.

Internet Lounge

Similar to the lobby, these spaces are friendly to work, studying, or play on the laptop. Wired for great connectivity, these spaces can be anywhere in the building, but in open areas with easy access are best. Put one on each floor of the building and provide a workspace that offers a social environment and productivity.

Read more about designing social apartment buildings.


The clubhouse is usually a concept for upscale developments, but more designers and builders are modifying the idea to fit into just about any mulit-unit residence. These offer amenities that fit the Millennial lifestyle within easy distance of home—in fact, they are part of home. A pool, billiard room, pool, ballroom, gym, basketball court, even restaurants top the list. Entertaining spaces that include a kitchen, wine cooler, and dining area let residents and their guests enjoy a comfortable space rather than being limited by space or resources.

The clubhouse phenomenon is, essentially, offering many of the benefits of single-family dwellings to renters in multi-family units. That’s the best of both worlds, especially for today’s Millennial, who would rather rent than buy. Invite the biggest segment in the homebuying and renting market with social spaces that meet their sophisticated needs.

Topics: Commercial, Design

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