As part of a large coalition of designers and specialists, FABRICations assessed healthy urbanism strategies for Cartess, a housing development proposal in Utrecht. The design creates a progressive sustainable urban district with 2.500 dwellings. The new plan aims to contribute to a better climate, a healthy living environment and a higher quality of life for its residents and users.
A comprehensive analysis of the existing context provided key ingredients for the sustainability strategy. By investigating potential connections between Utrecht, Cartess, its buildings and its residents, opportunities were found to create new forms of collectivity around cutting-edge sustainable practices. That is, energy production, water management, waste processing, construction material recycling and smart city logistics all become a collective effort and thus a base for a cohesive and active community. Moreover, this community is not closed off towards the rest of the city; all systems are connected to larger regional economic, social and cultural systems.
Emphasis is also put on creating a healthy living environment for animals, plants and humans. For example, the circulation cores of the housing units are much larger than average, benefit from direct light and host vegetation. As a consequence, staircases become a pleasant place for encounter and people are encouraged to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Ultimately, this contributes significantly to both the physical and psychological well-being of the community.
Location: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Comissioners: AM, Blauwhoed, BOEi, Aalberts
Design Directors: Eric Frijters, Olv Klijn
Project Architect: Hein van Lieshout
Team: Bas Driessen, Marcello Vietti, Laura Huerga, Alessandra Riccetti, Lea Soret, Rebeca Rabello, Max Augustijn, Duong Bui
Design partners: Felixx Landscape, Barcode Architects, Next Architects, Plein06, Jvantspijker & partners
Partners: BAM energy systems, Bureau Bouwfysica, Bureau voor Gebiedscommunicatie, Dekfordt, DGMR, Exponent, Greenhouse Advies, IF Technology, Klimaatgarant, Metron Bouwadvies, MRKWRDG, Realfort, Regelink Advies, The Missing Link, Urban Connectors, Van Voorden Bouwadvies, Vianen Bouwadvies, Vlaming Erfgoed
Rendering Visualization: ToBeWAXed