Collective housing for mentally challenged

40 studio’s for indepent living | shared amenities

almere, NL | 2020 – | pre construction | housing, collective amenities, edible garden | new build | project developer

The ‘Thuis en Tuin’ project in Almere Oosterwold provides housing for people that are mentally challenged or that have (temporal) psychological issues. They live independently with the necessary professional support within reach. The living environment contributes to the well-being of the residents and functions as a ‘healing environment’.

The plot measures approximately 1.2 hectares and consists of a ‘landscape oasis’ where flora and fauna flourish. Each house has an unobstructed view of the collective landscape garden, where a wide variety of animal and plant species can be admired. The landscape is designed based on the principles of permaculture, where the ecosystem as a whole sustains itself with minimal human effort. It also provides a place to meet others, work, learn, relax, and spend the day in a healing manner. The landscape includes a food forest, water features, a fish pond, walking routes, and a vegetable garden. The yields are for the residents’ own consumption or can be offered in the neighborhood shop where Oosterwold residents do their shopping.

The complete orientation towards the garden constitutes the main quality of the simple studio apartments, providing the essential condition for a low-stimulus living environment. The high, full-width window and the adjacent veranda literally bring the landscape inside. By integrating interior elements such as cabinets, table, and bed fully within the dwelling, an optimal balance in the usable space is achieved. Furthermore, the uniform construction, primarily consisting of wooden panels, creates a soothing ambiance. The materialization is also extended to the exterior facade through the use of wooden lattice work. All homes have their own parking space directly in front of the door.

In the garden, there is a 200 m2 greenhouse that serves as an activity location, a workspace, a shop, and a community restaurant. The entire site revolves around healthy food, from growing vegetables to serving nutritious meals. With a separate entrance from the road and the availability of parking space, the privacy of the residents is ensured.

The entire complex is energy-neutral, meaning that it meets its own demand and needs through a combination of solar cells and heat pumps. The connection to the regular electricity grid allows for the balancing of production surpluses and shortages over time. By utilizing a timber frame construction as the main structure, fully prefabricated certified materials, and state-of-the-art installation technology, the design qualifies for a sustainability label.