In Groningen we built 18 homes, for a collective private commission. This collective, which was set up by 18 families, asked us to design a prototype that could then be adapted to respond the individual desires and lifestyles of the residents. The result is a series of houses which together form a coherent and harmonious whole, while each individual house has its own unique character. This resulted in a neighborhood with a sustainable and concerned atmosphere.
The structure of the urban development plan led to an urban, yet relaxed suburban neighbourhood. Because the lots are narrow and the density high, the design provides particularly for sufficient sunlight and privacy. Each house has a spacious room overlooking the garden. The houses are L-shaped to create an intimate atmosphere at the back. All the houses are two or three storeys high at the front. Together these houses lend an urban character and coherence to the street. Taking the participants’ individual living requirements, the prototype was translated into 18 bespoke homes. Variations were also possible on the outside of the houses: residents were able to choose between two, two-and-a-half or three storeys, between different kinds of windows, three different coloured finishes for the Red Cedar facade cladding. Families with more children chose more bedrooms, while singles and couples without children mainly chose large spaces. Eventually also a home for elderly people was designed.
The eighteen homes that grew out of the prototype all have their own individual and unique features. The aim was achieved: not identical houses, but a visual unity that would lead to a large family.