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Construction begins on DeBuurt residential complex in Overvecht, Utrecht

4/8/2019 | Start Construction

Construction has begun on the residential development of DeBuurt on the former NPD site in Overvecht, Utrecht, with the occasion marked by an official ceremony on Friday 5 April. Present at the occasion were Utrecht’s deputy mayors Klaas Verschuure (Spatial Planning) and Kees Diepeveen (Housing and the Regeneration of Overvecht), representatives from real estate developers AM and other stakeholders, all of whom also celebrated the unveiling of the development’s name and website. The three buildings that make up the development were designed by Paul de Ruiter Architects and NL Architects, and the public space and communal gardens are by Flux landscape architecture.

The elevation of Overvecht
Overvecht is a green and spacious neighbourhood that boasts more than 170 nationalities. However, its residential accommodation consists primarily of nondescript, mid-rise apartment blocks. But not for long, as real estate developer AM has now begun work on Overvecht’s transformation into a mixed-use development that aims to satisfy the wishes of local residents and the municipality, both of whom requested something that promoted a sense of community, facilitated creative development and supported the well-being of its residents in a future-proof design. Meeting these demands would elevate the entire neighbourhood, aesthetically and experientially, as well as the city centre and parts beyond.

An assortment of apartments
On completion, the development will consist of three apartment blocks accommodating a total of 343 apartments measuring between 40 m² and 120 m², most of which will cater to the mid-market rental segment. The two-, three- and four-room apartments have been designed to meet the needs of young adults, families and senior citizens, and will be distributed within the blocks in a way that promotes interaction between residents of different generations and backgrounds. The blocks will also include sheltered housing, co-living accommodation and live/work units. The apartments are all designed to meet the requirements of the city government’s standards of liveability and accessibility as well as those of their occupants through the age- and health-related changes in their lives.

A distinctive silhouette
The three blocks have been designed as enclosed units, but also as an aesthetic and functional ensemble whose collected coherence is achieved by their construction from the same range of materials, their brick facades, and the uniform height and width of their six storeys. The designs for the two outer blocks (1A and 1C) are by Paul de Ruiter Architects and the middle block (1B) is by NL Architects.

Communal spaces for meeting and socializing with neighbours
To encourage residents to spend more time outdoors and meet and socialise with their neighbours, each block will feature a residents-only communal courtyard garden on the second floor. Each apartment will also come with its own balcony, terrace or loggia. In addition, the apartments with ground floor entrances in blocks 1A and 1C will come with private outdoor areas overlooking the streets. The communal courtyard gardens are by Flux landscape architecture, who have also designed lush green public spaces and car-free streets between the blocks.

The middle block will boast a 1,400 m² double-height base devoted to first-time entrepreneurs, art and culture. The equivalent bases in blocks 1A and 1C will each measure 300 m² and incorporate an art library, a physiotherapy centre and a dental practice, among other relevant services.

Sustainability
DeBuurt is set to further demonstrate Utrecht’s commitment to sustainability and become a blueprint for future projects. The apartments will run entirely on electricity, making them completely gas-free. The development’s designs have been awarded the maximum EPC and GPR scores of -0.02 and 8.5 respectively. These scores were achieved on the basis of the provisions for clean energy via rooftop PV panels and to the allocation of thermal storage units to each apartment. Effective soundproofing and dedicated air-conditioning, heating and ventilation will, furthermore, ensure that each apartment supports its occupant’s health and well-being.

A happy neighbourhood
DeBuurt constitutes the ideal combination of functions for residents to live, work, relax and socialize as a community. The development’s provisions for health, art, culture and entrepreneurship promise to make this an inspiring place to call home, one that truly facilitates the bonds of community. Such intangibles are the building blocks of happy neighbourhoods.

DeBuurt is scheduled for completion at the end of 2020. Please visit the new website at: www.debuurtutrecht.nl

Interested in more information? Please check our project page as well.

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