‘The Urban Biotope’ proposes a new type of collective housing, where landscape mimics the city and urbanity forms a natural phenomenon. Building and park act as a single hybrid architectural landscape.

The architecture seamlessly connects with the landscape. Formally, its horizontal articulation forms an elegant frame to the lush landscape. Functionally, building and landscape form one and the same climate system. The roofs form a water retention surface. The facades regulate light, air, heating and cooling and they connect the interior with the surrounding nature. The wooden structural frame creates a flexible, healthy and sustainable building and grants the building its distinctive architectural appeal.

The project houses a mix of typologies, from social housing to spacious family houses. All dwellings are connected to nature: the ground floor offers direct contact with the park, the second floor has access to generous roof-gardens and the apartments in between have green balconies. Every single room has a spacious semi-climatised winter garden.

The landscape is intensively programmed: it purifies water, inhabitants grow their own crops, there are abundant opportunities to work, play and work-out. The park is stratified into different zones that form a natural zoning of public, semi-public and private use due to their height differences.

The Biotope combines the best of two worlds; nowhere in the country will one find such urbanity, nowhere in the city one expects such a wild landscape.

  • Name: Urban Biotope Erasmusveld
  • Location: The Hague (NL)
  • Program: Dwellings, social-housing, rental apartments and privately-owned co-working and collective spaces, civic centre, collective roof terrace
  • Size: 11.870 m² included covered parking
  • Commision: Competition (SO)
  • Period: 2016-2017
  • Client: BPD
  • Team: Jan Lebbink, Gert Kwekkeboom, Rick ten Doeschate, Ingrid van der Heijden, Angela Solis, Fernanda Romeu
  • Partners: Buro Lubbers
  • Images: Civic Architects, Buro Lubbers and VERO Visuals

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