McCamant & Durrett Principals

Charles Durrett


Charles Durrett, with his wife Kathryn McCamant, introduced the concept of cohousing to the U.S. with their book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves. They coined the word “cohousing” for which they are credited in the Oxford English Dictionary. Charles recently authored, Senior Cohousing: A Community Approach to Independent Living-The Handbook.

Charles has designed over fifty cohousing communities in the United States, including Muir Commons, the first cohousing community in North America. He has also consulted on many more around the world. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Architecture, and a wide variety of other publications.

Charles and Kathryn have received numerous awards for their work, including the recent World Habitat Award presented by the United Nations, and the Mixed Use/Mixed Income Development Award, presented jointly by the American Insititute of Architects and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Although best known for his work designing and developing cohousing communities for families and seniors, he has also designed and renovated hundreds of childcare centers and classrooms throughout the country.

Charles’ career as an architect has led him into the areas of urban design, town planning, and community development. He says, “Beauty is a key part of our job. People preserve, protect, maintain, and revitalize what they love. They love what is beautiful.”

Kathryn Michiko McCamant


A licensed architect and co-author of the book Cohousing: A Contemporary Approach to Housing Ourselves, Kathryn McCamant founded McCamant & Durrett Architects and The CoHousing Company with her husband, Charles Durrett in 1987.

Since researching cohousing in Denmark in the early 1980’s, Katie has design and developed dozens of cohousing communities. She played the role of lead project manager in six California communities seeing these communities from site search through move in. In addition to pioneering cohousing in North American, Katie has designed a wide variety of building types including an innovative shared housing community for 24 single-parent households recovering from domestic violence situations, and a sustainably designed (LEED certified) Church.

In 2006, Katie founded Cohousing Partners, LLC with longtime collaborator, Jim Leach of Wonderland Hill Development Company, to take cohousing development to the next level in California.  As a full-service real estate development company that partners with cohousing groups, Cohousing Partners, LLC  seeks to address the growing demand for cohousing in California.

Katie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture at UC Berkeley and did her graduate work at the Royal Academy of Art and Architecture in Copenhagen, Denmark. After living in Doyle Street Cohousing in Emeryville, CA for 12 years, she now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in the Nevada City Cohousing Community.

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