Community spirit, sustainability and contact with nature are the basic principles of the special housing project ’t Eemgoed. The founders had long been searching for possibilities for a new way of living. They found the perfect location in Oosterwold, a green agricultural area between Almere and Zeewolde that has been earmarked for organic, extensive development without many strict frameworks or a final picture established in advance. The initiators involved cepezed and cepezedprojects for their knowledge and experience.
In total the project consists of 82 homes and a building with shared facilities on a plot of more than seven hectares. The broad single-storey houses with sloping roof have different dimensions for different types of household and occupancy. They are linked in lightly curved rows, arranged loosely on the site on either side of a central pedestrian path. The size and shape of the plot were largely a free choice and with their curved contours fit in with the future neighbouring recreation area and also with the positioning of the houses in the landscape.
The high-ceilinged living rooms with adjacent private gardens face south-west and enjoy plenty of sunlight as a result. It also means that the houses face away from the nearby provincial road and a wind farm that throws shadows. The roofs are covered with greenery that is a continuation of the landscape. This gives the residents the most natural view possible and a great deal of privacy. To allow the penetration of natural light along the rear sides of the houses, incisions have been made in the green covering, which are framed with wood of enhanced sustainability.
The development came about in close collaboration with the residents, who contribute ideas on many aspects and have a say in the process. So on the basis of input from residents, various floor plans have been designed. In a series of sessions, the residents also communicated their wishes and ideas on matters including atmosphere and finish, landscape and vegetable gardens, sustainability and energy services, but also shared facilities such as a music room, atelier, party and meeting space, communal office spaces, guest rooms and so on.
With sustainability as one of the core values, the houses are energy-neutral and the project will not have a gas connection. It will not be connected to the sewage system either, but for waste water settling tanks will be built in the ground, which are connected to a constructed wetland. The houses have a high level of insulation, partly due to the green roof package. They are also equipped with a heat exchanger and balanced ventilation as options for natural ventilation. Elongated canopies with PV panels and solar collectors run the length of the living rooms. The site will stay entirely car-free; parking is available only at the edge of the plot.