A planners field day: "Into the woods y'all!"
In the summer of 2022, the new inter-ministerial Ministry of Make called on a hundred designers and experts to use their collective knowledge and imagination to come up with new designs for the demand for 1,000,000 homes in the period up to 2030. With our design research "Into the woods y'all" we want to contribute to the radical renovation of the Netherlands and offer concrete solutions for the housing shortage and the consequences of climate change.
A national plan map built up from local design power
The ministry has issued a concrete assignment for 100 designers with the request to conduct design research into the development of 10,000 climate-proof homes within their 2 x 2 km area, and to make a design for this. The designers and specialists received a Test Kit containing everything they needed. The hundred designed test kits were collected and together they formed the largest scale model in the Netherlands at 1:2000 scale.
We chose the location near Wapse in Drenthe, right next to the Natura 2000 area Het Drents-Friese Wold. It is an area that now consists of 90% pasture, and which has been designated as a transition area on the maligned nitrogen map of the Ministry of Agriculture. This means that intensive livestock farming will have to disappear from the area in order to limit the precipitation of nitrogen in the vulnerable nature reserve.
Throughout the Netherlands, more than 800,000 ha has been designated as a transition area where intensive livestock farming is making way for something new. We therefore see the location at Wapse as a prototype for a possible new land use. If we use 800,000 hectares to realize 1 million homes, then this is possible with an extremely low density of 1.25 homes per hectare. The rest of the vacated areas can be transformed into forest. In this way, the annual CO2 emissions in the (housing) construction industry can be compensated and stored. The new houses are of course made of wood.
Watch the video below or take a look at the project page: