MVRDV was just announced by the city of Emmen, Switzerland as the winners of the Feldbreite competition for a housing block, which consist of 95 homes of 16 different types. Their urban hybrid development proposal combines characteristics of city dwelling – central location, privacy, underground parking – with the characteristics of suburban life: gardens, multilevel living and a neighborhood community. Construction is expected to start in 2015. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Instead of the housing block asked for by the brief, MVRDV created a mixed urban block with small apartment buildings at the corners, townhouses along the streets and garden and patio houses inside the block. The 16 different housing types, which vary in size from 30 to 130 m2 and from one to four floors, will naturally attract a mixed group of inhabitants, an important factor in creating a vivid urban environment. The project consists of 9000 m2 of housing, 2034 m2 services and 2925 m2 underground parking.
Each house or apartment will have its own façade color, emphasizing its individual ownership. A pastel range of color was chosen based on the specific colors traditionally found in historic Swiss town centers in the Lucerne area, such as Beromünster.
An important aspect of the project is the high quality of construction in combination with relatively low prices. Clients will be able to buy a more or less finished house – comparable to the basic model of a new car – with options leading up to almost full fit and finish possible. Home owners with little money can therefore delay investment, or do the work themselves, and still live in a high quality, new build home.
The exterior of the block is a varied urban street front whilst the interior offers the quality of a green and intimate village. The interior of the block is divided into both private and public spaces, with dividing walls used to hang tables or benches and parts of the walls which can be rotated and used for table tennis. A cohesive landscaping plan foresees a wide variety of fruit trees in the courtyard, in both the private and public areas. The garden and patio houses in the center of the courtyard have their own entrance doors at the outer perimeter of the block. The roofs will be used for additional outdoor space.