Explore Lab 6

Sustainable housing for lower income groups in Bolivia

Sustainable housing for lower income groups in Bolivia

Rinske Wessels

For this graduation project, three major researches have taken place: An architectural research into design criteria, an urban research into the urban development of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) and a construction research to sustainable building materials which are accessible for the lower income groups in this city.
From the architectural research 13 design criteria were defined: Constructability, Extendibility, Sustainable water use, Facilitate economic activity, Developing houses with the community, Create neighbourhood relations, User friendly, Basic comfort, Low cost, Cradle to cradle, Minimal pollution, Optimal use of materials and Generate a future value. With de design criteria a basis house is developed and the need of growing horizontally as well as vertically is incorporated.
Based on the urban research the houses needed to be placed on the front of the parcel to create a clear distinction between the public and the private areas. Within the design of the basic house a semi-public space functioning as the living room in integrated. This space has the potential to be used for income generating activities. Through the years the street with become more diverse, because of vertical extensions and different economical activities.
From the construction research resulted that bamboo is a very sustainable and innovative building material. The bamboo stems are joined with a 3mm thick steel wire, also known as the “Delft wire lacing technique”. The jointing technique quality experiments showed that the bamboo stems slip away. Therefore the bamboo construction is build up with the Chinese method for bamboo building.

Housing in the historic centre of Haarlem

Housing in the historic centre of Haarlem

Luuk Dietz

The project started with a research on roman patio houses and apartment blocks and the use of architectural design tools. These tools, such as routing, sequencing of spaces and the use of water and green, could then be used in the design for housing in a city block in Haarlem. On the remains of existing building structures, a set of dwellings are placed around three courtyards. These communal spaces are designed to feel as a collective environment.In the design of the different dwelling types, two themes were central. The houses all have a twofold program, with a public and a more private part. The border between inside and outside is stretched and spread over multiple spaces. Both themes can be traced back in the tectonics and detailing of the buildings.


Janine Toussainte

Virtual; the Reality of Cyberspace;
not idealising the virtual but use it as a platform for efficient communication and informationTime; the Duration of space;

embracing the local, generating more value for the global

Place; the feeling of Space;
creating conditions for a ‘feeling of home’ instead of designing a house

With these principals in mind an urban plan and a building design were created.
“On an urban and building scale I choose to design moments in space more than the spaces themselves. Along a timeline there are created-moments. Together they form a rhythm and by their own specific characters they transform into a melody. The moments are places to meet. Meeting between people of different cultures, between nomads and freebooters, between local inhabitants and tourists, between passengers and stayers, between artists and businesspeople, between… They are places that mostly have their qualities on a local scale and therefor can be of a special quality on a much bigger level. They embrace the local and strengthen the value of the city in global network. Maybe they are not the places that are represented on a postcard, but they are the places where you sit down and write a story on them, the places where you experience the story. They are indeed places where you can feel at home without a house”

Holistic hospital design

Holistic hospital design

Daniel de Witte

To fit a new regional hospital in the physical, social and economic context of Northern Ethiopia a design has been made from a holistic approach. The patient, mostly from a very poor background, is the center of the design approach. With various architectonic means a ‘Healing Environment is created.

A combination of modern and indigenous architecture, shapes and materials ensure social-cultural embedment and sustainable development. As example: the in concrete realized inpatient zone functions as roof for the outpatient zone which is thought of in the traditional adobe. To control indoor climate naturally, use have been made of centuries old building methods which are implemented in the architecture. In this way reducing the carbon footprint is realized by using context related solutions.

By making a realistic but at the same time contemporary design the hope is to contribute to the hard living circumstances for the poorest of the poor in this part of Ethiopia.

Developing low-income urban areas

Developing low-income urban areas

Toon Stallaart

Rio de Janeiro’s urbanization developed in two directions. The prosperous neighborhoods along the beaches and in the center followed the rails of the tram lines, while the peripheral zones of the working classes to the north emerged along the railroads. Public facilities, such as libraries and parks, were continuously planned in the city center. The public voids left in the peripheries were filled up by private institutions such as shopping malls. Green space is scarce in the vast outskirts. A space that has remained open is the network of transmission lines. It reaches many residents in the dense peripheries in the north zone, but the space is currently inaccessible. The space can be transformed into a linear park, equipped with public facilities. Public interventions, such as plazas and sports fields are planned on the strip. Vacant spaces along the strip are used for buildings, in particular with public functions. In this project I proposed a design for a building with several public functions: a library, an auditorium, and a bus station. In the commercial heart of Madureira, an area dominated by commercial activities, the building will be a haven of public space that surpasses the interest of the neighborhood. Through connectivity, function and size, the building will be significant for the entire periphery of the city.

Designing without  limitations

Designing without limitations

Steven Surentu

Citizenship paradigm has changed the role of the person with intellectual disabilities in our society. To make living in the quarters amongst normal people to a succes, in addition to practical issues such as accessibility and visibility, man must also concentrate on encouraging mutual acceptance. Several parties were approached for the quality research to obtain information about the target group. The municipality, the housing corporation, the healthcare provider, a counselor and parents were approached to gather information on different points of view.
Out of the various sub-studies a set of requirements is extracted, which indicates that the design must satisfy the potential occupant so they will not reject. A time-use study was designed to see whether there are similarities in activities between people ‘with’ and people ‘without’ disabilities.Based on the urban study the preference for the location was given to a district where the project has the best chance to succeed. Based on the data provided by the municipality of Dordrecht it became the agricultural quarter Dubbeldam.

Through the formation of the buildings the site contains two squares, each with it’s own identity: a public and a common one. The houses are designed as detached housing to the existing environment. One of the important items among people with intellectual disability. They strongly prefer property without the traditional institutional appearance . Therefore the image of a large-scale housing block had been deliberately avoided. In order to prevent stigmatization mixed program was wished. Thus four dwellings on the site designed for people without disabilities and a vegetable shop, a lunchroom and a workshoproom were added.