Jury prize

Nine Dwellings in Oosterwold, Almere

Designed by: bureau SLA & ZakenMaker
For client: Foundation Bosveld (Frode Bolhuis) Floor area: 1450.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: 年度住宅区

Public Score
3.65 Function
3.48 Innovation
3.57 Creativity

About the Project

In the rural area of Oosterwold Almere, a group of pioneers shared the desire to live and work in a different way. They found a potato field of one hectare and asked the architects of bureau SLA (Peter van Assche) and ZakenMaker (Mathijs Cremers) to design their dream homes with a very limited budget. The architects realised that by designing a straightforward slab containing a row of 9 dwellings. Building a 100-meter-long architectural shell in which the residents have the freedom to build off their interior. All families received a hundred and sixty square meters in the plan to be divided into living space. This way they could choose to follow their own needs, by for example making an indoor artist studio or a large living room.
To aim for high end insulation within the budget the architects chose to get the maximum out of common building materials. Floor, roof and house separating walls are executed as hollow wooden cassettes, which are blown in with insulating cellulose after installation. The result is an exceptionally well insulated base.

The architects designed the facade as a game to give maximum freedom within an efficient building system. Each household received a plan of seven windows and doors, which can be placed in the facade. The space between the frames is vitrified with solid parts of glass without a frame. This creates a quiet but varied facade. The end result is a rich and colourful chain of different dwellings.

What’s unique about it

The architects needed to be inventive in the design because the potato field had no connection to facilities at all. No sewage system, no waterworks, no connection to electricity. The architects decided to lift the long building from the ground so that it seems to float above the land. This design-choice has an extra purpose. It gave the residents the opportunity to choose any place for the sewage system and waterpipes.

The nine dwellings in Oosterwold show that it's possible to make a convincing design within a tight budget. That, most important, meets the expectations of nine different clients all at the same time. The design leaves enough space for the residents to fulfil their individual ideas and plans. The long building is a unconventional statement in the landscape. The residents all have the benefits of a big glass facade where the sun comes in and warms the house. The position of the building on the side of the plot to leaves maximum space for the community garden. And the long shared porch makes it easy to connect to the neighbors.

The architects suggested that the group would build off their own house, making it possible to stay in the budget. Working together on this has strengthened the bond within the community. This shared building eventually paid off. After all the hard work, in the summer after the completion, in the lee of the surrounding forest edge, one meter above ground level, the residents look out over their shared landscape and vegetable garden.

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