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MVRDV sparks Eindhoven’s sustainable ethos with jagged green-infilled residences

Netherlands - Jul 17, 2017 - 13:25   3690 views

MVRDV has won a competition with SDK Vastgoed to add a cluster of sustainable residential blocks in the inner city area around Deken van Someren Street in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The new residential complex aims to spark new "visible sustainable strategies" in this area where innovative architecture and design take place with innovative forms and informal character. 

Called Nieuw Bergen, MVRDV will add seven buildings with diverse roofscapes on the site while transforming some of the existing buildings with the same architectural language. Occupying a total of 29,000-square-metre space, the new sustainable housing complex will include 240 new homes, 1,700-square-metre commercial program, 270-square-metre urban farming and underground parking.

The Rotterdam-based studio focuses on a new urban strategy in this inner city - based on the knowledge and innovation - the informal configuration of the volumes is emphasised to develop a sustainable, pleasant and dynamic living environment for future residents. 

"The design approach echoes Eindhoven’s status as a city of technology, design and knowledge. Nieuw Bergen will get a hyper-modern feel and continues the informal character of the Bergen neighbourhood," said MVRDV.

"Natural light plays a central role in Nieuw Bergen, as volumes follow a strict height limit and a design guideline that allows for the maximum amount of natural sunlight, views, intimacy and reduced visibility from street levels," said Jacob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV. 

"Pocket parks also ensure a pleasant distribution of greenery throughout the neighborhood and create an intimate atmosphere for all," Jacob van Rijs added.

The studio uses imaginary planes at an angle of 45 degrees that are drawn from the foot print of neighboring residential buildings, which leads to natural light principles. This generates unpredictable building forms with jagged silhouettes covered with plants and transparent terraces infilled with trees, presenting a modern, optimistic atmosphere within the historic city fabric. MVRDV is inspired by a series of traditional pitched roofs of the city to create these dynamic and vivid urban blocks.

"The 45-degree angle results in maximum sunlight for both houses and public space hence creating an optimum environment with significant energy savings as a result," added the studio. 

"The oblique roof planes are ideally suited for installing solar panels and also accommodate green roofs. This concept is an evolution of the urban strategy tool MVRDV has been developing and actively applies in cities in need of sustainable densification."

"Individual buildings within Nieuw Bergen are different, yet they all collectively form a family of buildings that fit into the existing context like a mosaic. The sloping roofs reinforce this diversity and create a varied roof landscape. The diverse roofscape with solar panels and green make for an eye-catching and sustainable character," explained the studio.

In MVRDV's housing scheme, angled roofs are not easily perceived from the ground floor and create a more intimate city. Lamella roof structures, sollective gardens and greenhouses crown a number of buildings on the project site.

The studio consciously selects neutral colors and textured materials with subtle differences inform the striking glazed ceramic facades. Other façade materials consist of stone, wood and concrete elements and the colour palette varies from white to gray; and shiny to rough. 

Wall openings are carefully designed and also emphasise this diversity of architecture and use varied positioned balconies with generous outdoor spaces create a vivid and attractive living environment.

MVRDV will work with SDK Vastgoed on this project as well as Primum on sustainability, Iris Advies on neighbourhood participation and on engineering with Stam + De Koning Bouw.

Project facts

Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands 

Year: 2017+ 

Client: SDK Vastgoed (VolkerWessels) 

Size and Programme: Mixed-use, 28,700m2 with 242 apartments (sale and rental), 1,700 m2 commercial units, 270m2 Urban farming and underground parking

Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries 

Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Frans de Witte with Fedor Bron, Mick van Gemert, Mark van den Ouden, Ronald Kam and Daniele Zonta 

Visualization: Antonio Luca Coco, Kirill Emelianov, Tomaso Maschietti, Massimiliano Marzoli and Davide Calabro


Engineers: Stam + De Koning Bouw 

Sustainability: Primum 

Neighbourhood Participation: Iris Advies 

Newbuild Housing Specialist: Van Santvoort Makelaars Newbuild 

Civil Engineering Contractor: WSP/KWS 

Installation Advisor: Huisman & van Muijen

All images © MVRDV 

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