WATER NEIGHBOURHOOD, VLEUTEN
NEW TYPOLOGY | ECOLOGY | WATER | GREEN | SOCIAL COHESION
CLIMATE PROOF AVANT LA LETTRE
Water was proposed as the theme for the elaboration of one area of the Vleuten Water District. That was long before climate change made us think about water retention. Rainwater is usually drained off as quickly and invisibly as possible. In this plan, however, drainage is embraced as a positive element and deployed to add life to the street, in combination with various measures to save water and energy inside the homes.
The plan consists of twenty houses, all situated on open water, and eleven houses parallel to them on a street to the rear. Rainwater flows from the roof through ‘waterfalls’ into a shared drain between the dwellings and the street.
From here the water flows to the middle of the block and into a collecting basin before crossing the street in a curved channel and beneath the row of houses overlooking the water, and then into a second basin that drains into open water. The curved channel functions as an inverted ramp for vehicles. The open channel that passes the houses crosses private property and thus calls for coordinated maintenance and management by residents. This functional dependence on one another has heightened social cohesion among residents on the street, with a lively owners’ association. Special houses with an extra transparent zone skirt around the water basins.