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Design Studio



There is a growing need for affordable housing in the Netherlands. Buying a house becomes increasingly difficult for young people entering the byers market. The introduction of students loans and many short term job contracts are an extra obstacle in obtaining a mortgage. The liberalisation of the rental market has resulted in a split between rent controlled social housing with long waiting lists and profit oriented apartments that are affordable for high income groups only.

The building industry focusses on industrialization of a few existing housing typologies as an answer to this need. Developers are offering huge quantities of micro apartments without balconies and ignore livability, changeability and the pressure on public space. Bottom up initiatives are non-scalable (tiny houses), temporary (anti-squatting and squatting) or outside the city. What can architects add to these solutions?

In this studio we have investigated the factors we can and cannot influence. The need for affordable housing is not new. What have we learnt  we learn from earlier attempts to provide affordable housing in large quantities? Which building methods could we deploy in temporary situations? Can DIY lower building cost? What can we learn from small scale initiatives that focus on new housing typologies? Does affordable housing result in poor architecture? And what does this all mean for a city like Groningen?

We work with formulating an hypothesis regarding Affordable Housing, and investigating that.

We joined with the Atelier Stadsbouwmeester Groningen /Platform GRAS for this studio. With the manifestation BouwAnders. Three research locations were selected in Groningen: Eikenlaan Selwerd, Manege De Held and Wicherstraat. 

Link to Manifestation Bouw Anders

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“Affordability in housing is achieved by a radical change in living and the revaluation of existing built structures through social, spatial an programmatic changes."

- Marijn Wals, 2nd year student


"Work at home
Affordability can benefit from combining working and living on the same plot"

- Jelmer Dootjes, 3rd year student

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