Buurtschap Te Veld is a temporary, mid-term residential area that was pushed into being by the critical shortage of housing around Eindhoven. Built on a plot that is close to the highway and not meant to be built permanently, a plan was accepted that will offer a 30-year interim solution and will also be used to strengthen the ecological characteristics of the landscape once the housing is moved. Only the bare minimum is hardscape, ensuring routes for pedestrians, cyclists and cars. The rest is landscape, used as ‘commons’. Hundreds of new trees will be planted, re-creating the ‘chambers’ structure of the original landscape that was lost. The landscape that will further be populated with small clusters of housing, based on the old Dutch principle of a ‘Buurtschap’ a small neighbourhood that is characterised by its tight-knit social network and mutual help. The land in between the houses is shared and treated as commons. A robust water system is implemented for buffering and infiltrating water.
The jury praises the experimental approach, both in housing typologies and the experiment of how communities can live together based on a shared public space/landscape without private appropriation. The jury is curious how the landscape will grow and mature in the coming three decades and what the profession can learn from this approach.- from the award statements
A residential neighbourhood with quick-to-build prefab and modular homes in an exemplary landscape; the gradual neighbourhood. The hamlet Buurtschap te Veld is being developed based on three core values: cohabitating with the community, natural living in the city and unconventionality.
The realisation of the urban plan of Buurtschap te Veld has been very different from the normal development of a housing estate. Instead, what has emerged is better defined as a residential landscape. A large, ‘soft’ landscape based on an – existing – natural green-blue framework in which houses have ‘landed’ in phases and in varied ways. The approach to the development was based on a question such as: how could that which is created and/or left behind grow into a landscape with evident qualities – literally and figuratively?
Through the vegetation that has been planted and with clever management, we are enriching and intensifying the ecological qualities of the landscape. An activity trail, collective fields and meeting points create space for physical activity, gatherings, and tranquillity. A minimal proportion of paving has been added to maintain the natural character. At Te Veld, people can meet and engage in community activities without constraint. The fields on which the houses stand exude an invitational feeling, opening up space for sports, games, meals, etc. The plan’s purpose, conscious and collective, is reflected in each sub-plan.
The natural character of the residential environment is a distinguishing feature that makes the hamlet stand out compared with almost every other neighbourhood in the area. The basis of this personality is created by an envelope made up of landscaped rooms, whimsical in shape, with fields located in them. Then, as if nature had shaped the landscape for years, the houses were placed in the remaining space – in the inverted mould of the landscape.
A framework has been materialised from the existing area and the landscape study. The basis is formed with scenic rooms containing envelopes where social clusters are landed. The bodies are built like sculptures in the landscape. The primary infrastructure elaborates on the already existing one. Next to this solution, a network of informal routes has been added as secondary infrastructure. New meeting places have been added, creating a heart for the hamlet and a meeting point within each area section. A route is constructed to encourage playing, physical activity, and just being outside.
Buurtschap Te Veld is committed to being a healthy community by creating small-scale social clusters in an informal atmosphere. Between the private home and the public road, another valuable world exists. This world is formed by the fields, taking on a distinct meaning in terms of collectivity. A shared space where residents can meet and develop activities as a community. Here, people can play, participate in sports, have meals together, set up a vegetable garden, plant an orchard, etc. Not because they have to – but because they can. The landscape design invites this use, primarily by creating enough space for these activities and undertakings. Organising, encouraging and supporting residents to do so is crucial. We aim to create a neighbourhood that provides ample room for social activities.
type area development: area concept, strategy, urban development plan, development plan
client municipality of Eindhoven, Woonbedrijf, ‘thuis
team Studio BLAD (landscape), FAAM architects (structural designs rooms), Tom van Tuijn urbanism (urban design plan)