Last house at the Smaaktuin in Utrecht, bought!

The last dwelling at the Smaaktuin in Utrecht has been bought. This unique project is a new residential district comprising 37 unique, privately owned houses in the northeast part of the former cattle market in Utrecht. The project is a mix of collective private contracting and traditional contracting. The residents themselves decide what their house will look like while at the same time enjoying the benefits of centrally managed design and construction.

The Smaaktuin is located between greenery, water, playing fields with various facilities and apartments. The look of the neighbourhood has been decided by the residents themselves. Early on in the process a group of interested buyers considered what their ideal neighbourhood would be like. Taking these thoughts as a basis, De Zwarte Hond then developed a zoning plan which three architects (Marc Koehler, Groosman and Partners and De Zwarte Hond) used to create a flexible house design. The future house owners could pick from a robust warehouse, a grand town house, and a bright urban greenhouse, with a choice of outside finishes, window layouts, extensions, superstructures, floor plans and various types of exterior space. De Zwarte Hond supervised the project to safeguard the integrity of the final result. Unity of form was created by means of a single style of verandas, lockups, and material use, and by having a communal enclosed garden.

The wide range of options ultimately means that house owners in the Smaaktuin will all have unique, custom-designed houses to match their specific requirements. Using the Era Contour on-line planner, the future residents were able to put together their ideal home and at the same time get an estimate of the cost. In a single additional session with their architect of choice they then settled on the details of their dream house. The concept delivers a custom-designed house without the stress of choosing between limitless options, and without the financial uncertainties that are often involved when a house is privately designed and built. Since these houses are being developed collectively, the sustainability of the neighbourhood living climate is also safeguarded.

For further information please contact Bart van Kampen.