Text description provided by the architects. Together with Vink Bouw, Leukehuizen.nl and Stadsboeren van Almere, KettingHuls has realized a residential building in the new farmyard of urban farmers Tom Saat and Tineke van den Berg in Oosterwold near Almere. Oosterwold is a large expansion area between Almere and Zeewolde in which plans can be developed in accordance with a given set of rules; there is no spatial framework for this new district. Rather than being created top-down, in accordance with a comprehensive plan, Oosterwold is to develop organically through a multitude of initiatives that are allowed a maximum of freedom.
In this area, urban farmers Tom and Tineke acquired an Agricultural plot that will become part of their Stadsboerderij: a biodynamic farm with cows, agriculture, and horticulture located in and around Almere.
Urban farming is Oosterwold’s green backbone, both spatially and economically, 50 percent of the land will continue to be used for agriculture. Oosterwold is responding to a global trend towards locally, responsibly, and sustainably produced food. The aim is for Oosterwold to fill about 10 percent of the regional food demand. Unlike before, urban farming will contribute to the restoration of the relationship between city and country and between people and food.
That is why Tom and Tineke could realize a residential programme as well as a number of agricultural buildings on their agricultural plot. They’ve been granted exemption from the nuisance restrictions imposed on agricultural activity near dwellings.
This is Vliervelden, living in a farmyard, in a gatehouse, next to the cowshed and the hay barn, part of 40 hectares of agricultural land.
The gatehouse consists of a residential building with 21 apartments, an entrance gate, a farmhouse, and a shop for the sale of agricultural produce. Further down the yard, the farmer has issued plots for a number of ground-level dwellings. Inside the building envelope determined by KettingHuls, the farmhouse and the shop have been developed by contractor V.d. Heijkant. KettingHuls is responsible for the residential building and the entrance gate.
The silhouette of the gatehouse refers to the barns that pioneers once erected in the United States. It has a wooden façade and the balconies on the south side and the galleries on the street side are supported by a construction of Azobé solid wood beams and joists. The building is raised 30 cm off the ground and its lower balconies and gallery are also made of wood. The façade is covered by Ayous wooden paneling and fitted with wooden window frames. A very pronounced red corrugated sheet roof covers the entire gatehouse, matching the cladding of the hay barn and cowshed.
The inhabitants of the residential building will take part in yard life. Among the tractors, the cows, and the hay bales they will live together around the apple orchard, surrounded by the urban farmer’s fields in which work is in progress.