A competition to design a housing development in Emmen, Switzerland has been won by MVRDV with investment corporation Senn BPM AG, landscape architects Fontana and Wuest & Partner real estate consulting. In drawing up plans for this new development of 95 homes, MVRDV moved away from the specific brief for a single housing block and instead suggested something quite different.
The winning concept is a mixed urban block comprising of 16 different housing types, staggered in volumes of varying pastel shades with a number of courtyards and open-air spaces. Small apartment buildings are located at the corners of the plot while townhouses face out towards the streets and garden and patio houses are located in the centre of the block.
For MVRDV one of the key ingredients for a vibrant residential community is diversity, therefore this was placed at the forefront of the design. Not only are each of the units coloured in a different hue, but the design of each home is left flexible to the needs of the particular resident.
The team explains: “Clients will be able to buy a more or less finished house - comparable to the basic model of a new car - with options leading up to almost full fit and finish possible. Home owners with little money can therefore delay investment, or do the work themselves, and still live in a high quality, new build home.”
Within the boundaries of the housing complex are a series of open-air spaces, both public and private. Fruit trees dot the gentle landscaping with the roofs accessible for added outdoor space and elevated views. Several of the walls can be rotated and used for table tennis and the dividing walls between plots can be used to hang tables and benches. In total, 9,000 sq m of housing has been presented with 2,925 sq m of underground parking and 2,034 sq m of services.