Within the urban plan of MVRDV for Nieuw Leyden, 24H > architecture design two ecological houses. The building block consists of 18 houses, designed by different architects. There are no regulations of the beauty commission, so the future owners are free to design their house, as long as it fits within the provided building envelope.
The half sunken parking garage is situated in the centre of the building block, giving the houses a split-level arrangement, resulting in a high density area with narrow car free streets. Due the minimal amount of urban requirements regarding floor heights, shape and architectural appearance of the individual houses, the ensemble got a maximum architectural variety in shape and style, reminiscent of the historical city centre of Leiden but in a contemporary appearance.

Since the houses in the building block are organized following a ‘back-to-back’ principle, the general layout of the design is arranged in such a way that the use of daylight is maximum utilized. To realize this ambition, a so-called ‘canyon’ is introduced providing its inhabitants with maximal daylight during the day. The canyon flows vertically through the house and encloses the stairs. It’s orientated in a way that daylight can penetrate all the way down to the lower floors.

The walls of the canyon are used to arrange the house into the necessary functional spaces. Where desired, the canyon becomes transparent and filters the daylight. Where needed, the walls are closed and allow toilets and bathrooms to be placed behind its walls.

Energy use is minimized in several ways. In addition to the compact building block and maximum use of daylight mentioned before, a solar water heating system is used in combination with district heating. Together with insulated HR++ glass and highly insulated walls, this results in an overall energy performance which is far more ambitious than the requirements stated in the Dutch building regulations.

The facade is an echo of the flow of the canyon inside, resulting in organically shaped Corten steel on top of a cladding from fsc certified louro gamela and jatoba wood.
All exterior door- and windowframes are from fsc certified jatoba wood.
In the interior, the flooring exists of bamboo parquet and the window and door frames are made from bamboo. The exterior decking used on the terraces are made from compressed bamboo.

Project Data