De Weelde (the abundance) is a design for a residential area in Diemen. A sustainable, healthy, varied, hospitable and safe place with the garden as a centrepiece. It is inspired by the design principles of Jahn Gehl and his aim for “liveable, healthy, safe and sustainable cities”; Gordon Cullen and his book “Townscape”, in which he emphasizes the emotional reaction to an environment based on routing, space and objects; and Dan Buettner’s “Blue Zones”, as the foundation for a long and healthy life.
Long building blocks create an enclosed garden. A green oasis, aimed at pedestrians, with a minimum of cars. Private parking is located completely out of sight, underneath the gardens. This creates a safe environment for children to play freely.
A composition of building blocks, each turned in a different way, within the courtyard creates an interplay of spaces. Spaces with their own unique character, atmosphere, identity, and use. The architecture is based on the human scale, in which the façade-width corresponds with the apartment behind. This makes each apartment visible and recognizable.
The great variety in facades, materials, and colours express the diversity and the unique character of the residents. It is highlighted even more through the different balconies, loggia’s, and terraces. No distinction is made between social housing, private housing, and owned apartments, as they form a collection of facades. The outer facing facades have a more formal appearance and are characterised by masonry. Those in the courtyards are more informal in their expression and include wood as secondary material. The character along the canal is more transparent.