The first wooden housing modules of Juf Nienke, a new circular prefabricated timber housing project by SeARCH, RAU, and DS landscape architects, has been installed in Amsterdam. The project will feature 61 rental homes made entirely of wood, and will sit at the entrance of Centrumeiland, a newly raised piece of land on Lake IJmeer that features 1500 housing units. It is set to be one of the most sustainable apartment buildings in the Netherlands, incorporating an innovative cross-laminated timber construction and utilizing recycled materials.
Located on the south side of Centrumeiland, a newly-developed "rainproof" housing masterplan in Amsterdam, Juf Nienke offers a diversity of housing units with parking, retail, and public facilities. Half of the modules will be medium-rent and dedicated for teachers and other people with a key profession in the city. The prefabricated modules are paired or stacked on top of each other to create larger houses with private exterior space for each occupant. A low block of single-family homes will sit on the northside of the site, and a tall, long volume of apartments will extend across the Muiderlaan to the West. Smaller volumes will be places along the Strandlaan towards the South.
The project will be a circular, nature inclusive, and energy positive building with a 15m high wooden load-bearing structure on top of a concrete platform. The building is accessed by a prominent entrance and a wide street with stairs on both sides. Via the stairs, residents have access to a raised deck with a panoramic view of the neighboring communal courtyard garden. The elevated plinth provides space for public amenities like shops, a coffee bar, shared workstations, and studios.
The materials used are mostly bio-based and recycled, with low environmental impact. The linked wooden prefabricated modules have a standard width of 4m with varying depths, facilitating the process of dismantling and reuse later in the future. Since the houses are constructed almost entirely of wood, they store up to 580,000 kg of CO2, actively contributing to a better climate and a healthy living environment.
We are committed to revolutionizing the built environment through timber construction. We do not need more concrete blocks with overly complex systems that dictate the way we live. We need light, high-performance, sustainable timber structures, that are healthy for both the environment around them and the people that inhabit them. -- Bjarne Mastenbroek, architect and founder of SeARCH
In addition to the construction means and materials, the landscape work for both the inner garden and the communal deck was carefully chosen to further enrich the site's biodiversity. The roof edge of the car park is also equipped with bat boxes, creating a striking element on the roof that serves as a bat hotel with mating and winter quarters.
In the coming months, 6 to 12 residential units will be placed through 12 phases, so that by the end of June 2022 Amsterdam's most sustainable residential building will be ready for occupancy. The housing modules will be ready-made from the factory, and transported from Uden to Amsterdam where they will be stacked in their proper position.