With an intelligent arrangement of the units, high quality starters apartments could be realised within budget.
As a result of winning Europan 3, VMX was commissioned to design two housing blocks in Den Bosch, aimed particularly at starters and handicapped. For a target group that wishes independence, starters apartments have to offer privacy. The starter is seldom at home, but would like to have the option to work from there. Affordable rent is a crucial requirement. To guarantee low building costs, emphasis was placed on the design of a regular structural system, within which different housing types could be configured. In order to avoid an entire gallery access system, associated with large-scale affordable housing, a mixture of portico and gallery circulation has been developed, with units for disabled residents located on the ground floor.
" Our first residential project, after 17 years revisited. It's in an amazing good shape! It almost looks like the first day" (images by Marcel ven der Burg)
The blocks are especially designed for ‘starters’ and contain a total of 45 dwellings and some commercial space as well as 14 handicapped units. 3up2down is designed as an alternative to regular housing for starters wishing to leave student houses and begin on their own but not yet needing a ‘single family’ house. They want a relatively small, but individual dwelling with privacy. The dweller is seldom at home, but would like the possibility to work at home. The difference in rent from a student house cannot be too great.
The low rent necessitates low building costs. Therefore, emphasis was placed on the spatial configuration of the units within a regular structural system. In order to avoid an entire gallery access system, a mixture of portico and gallery circulation has been developed. The first floor consists of wide single aspect apartments
oriented toward the park. One and a half structural bays wide, apartments on this floor are accessed via a gallery. This gallery also houses porticos from which the uppermost floor is accessed. Here the apartments are longer, with windows on both sides as well as top-lights for extra sunlight in the apartments. The exterior is clad with a hard, black, stony material with a warmer and softer beige interior where people walk: in the entrance, gallery, and balconies, exposed through the punctures in the facade. The blocks are like land art objects positioned opposite each other in the park. They pull the park to their north together with the park on the south side, while forming a gateway.