22ccOPD1H6M

Residential Landscape 3.0

where living, food production and nature come together

In the Netherlands, urbanization, nature, and agriculture vie for precious space. There is a significant shortage of housing, biodiversity is under pressure, and agriculture needs to adapt. Is it possible to reconcile these challenges? Can we envision residential landscapes that are self-sustaining and accommodate organic food production, sustainable energy generation, and nature? A healthier, more sustainable, and more socially conscious living environment, where homes are constructed with natural materials sourced locally?

a private outdoor space adjoins the communal food garden
a private outdoor space adjoins the communal food garden
Ground-Connected Living
In the Netherlands, we cherish our rural areas, which is why homes are predominantly built within existing urban areas, preferably in high density around public transport hubs. However, there is a growing number of Dutch citizens who would prefer to live more connected to nature. For many, the ideal living situation is a 'home with roots': a ground-connected residence with a garden in a scenic, natural setting. Various studies have shown that nature in the immediate living environment is essential for our health. Daily contact with nature reduces stress and the likelihood of inflammation, while promoting physical activity and social interaction.

In a densely populated country like the Netherlands, where intensive use of scarce land is necessary, achieving this ideal living situation seems challenging. This has led many Dutch citizens to settle for a compromise: a terraced house in a suburb. It is generally assumed that one must move to a village or, even better, to rural areas to attain such living arrangements. This entails accepting longer commutes for work and urban amenities. After all, living amidst greenery requires significant space, which is scarce, especially in the Randstad region. Ironically, the suburb, initially created to escape the city and reside closer to the surrounding landscape, is now seen as a threat to the very landscape it sought to embrace.

Ecological Desert
Constructing in rural areas faces significant societal resistance, as it is commonly believed that this always comes at the expense of existing green values. But is this a valid assumption? We have come to realize that while rural areas may still appear green, ecologically speaking, they have largely turned into deserts over the past half-century. Climate change exacerbates this issue. Additionally, rural areas have become much less accessible since large-scale land consolidation. We pin our hopes on new forms of agriculture that can restore natural values.

The question is whether this will be sufficient and fast enough, especially since these new forms often lack viable business models for farmers. In the meantime, rural areas are slowly filling up with data centers, logistics halls, and solar fields. Dissatisfaction among the Dutch population is growing because we consider rural areas an important part of our living environment. It is therefore time for a more proactive approach to rural areas and the values they represent. Housing development could, due to its economic transformative power, be part of this approach.
the residential building, thanks to the use of local and natural construction materials, is rooted in the landscape
the residential building, thanks to the use of local and natural construction materials, is rooted in the landscape

A circular residential building encloses agricultural and human activities. In the area surrounding the residential complex, there is space for new nature.

on the exterior, the houses border the natural surroundings
on the exterior, the houses border the natural surroundings

A diet based on plant-based products can drastically reduce the required agricultural land area.

Farmers are given the opportunity to develop a self-sufficient residential landscape on their farmstead.

On multiple agricultural plots, similar developments are taking place. Pieces of nature are being connected, thus becoming more robust and resilient. This creates a green buffer around existing nature reserves. The residential buildings enclose human activities and form an architectural family, fostering spatial coherence and landscape quality.

The buildings may vary in size and material usage. Inside the buildings, the differences can be even greater. The method of food production is determined by the residential community and can range from organic to more technological approaches. Complete self-sufficiency is achievable, depending on the production method and the amount of meat and dairy.

A landscape is emerging where living, agriculture, and nature converge and collaborate. Both nature and agricultural lands are given the opportunity to regenerate. Simultaneously, a green, sustainable, self-sufficient living environment is being created.
Impression of a transformed landscape after the development of multiple residential landscapes
Impression of a transformed landscape after the development of multiple residential landscapes
year
2023


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