Urban cities are a bundle of contradictions — luxury homes share street corners with derelict buildings while affordable housing becomes ever more scarce and homelessness increases. At their best, metropolises find ways to fix one problem with another — 3Space does just that in the UK by enabling charities to occupy vacant properties while landlords look for commercial tenants. Now, Netherlands based architecture firm Heijmans are also attempting to solve two problems in one by housing Amsterdam’s “inbetween generation” — recently graduated workers who are being priced out of the city’s rental market — in ready-made, affordable housing which can be installed temporarily in derelict urban sites.
Heijmans ONE are complete, self-contained two storey living units, equipped with all the basic required facilities, including kitchen, bathroom, separate bedroom, living room and outside patio space. They have a solid wooden skeleton, produce some of their own energy and run entirely on electricity — making them very energy efficient. The homes are pre-fabricated to a simple, spacious design and built in Tilburg in the Netherlands. They can be installed completely in less than a day but their quality rivals much permanent housing in the city centre.
Heijmans aim to provide affordable temporary housing for young people — the units will cost approximately EUR 700 per month to rent — and simultaneously fill vacant lots around the city, breathing fresh life into neglected areas. The spaces can be government owned or acquired by property developers and when building work is set to start, the units can be removed as easily as they were installed, and transferred to a new site.
You can learn more about the project and the homes themselves in the video below:
Heijmans installed their first two homes in Amsterdam in December and they are currently occupied but available for viewing. Is this a scheme that could work in other urban cities too?