PLAYING WITH LEGO IN ALMERE
‘A buyer’s influence on the design and construction of new homes will continue to increase. Modern consumers want choice and not just in the kitchen and bathroom. As a result, the finished product is no longer predetermined and may even be something of a surprise. The architect is increasingly a director of possible variations.’ It was with this vision of the future that FARO took part in the competition ‘Het Wilde Wonen’ (The Wild Life) in 2001. Winning the competition resulted in the project ‘Gewild Wonen’ (Desired Life) which was built as part of the Bouwexpo in 2001 to celebrate Almere’s 25th anniversary.
Prior to construction buyers were able to make fundamental decisions which can have a significant influence on the final outcome of their home. The first choice concerns lot shape: deep or shallow, wide or narrow, with or without a driveway. The shape of the lot determines the shape of the house. Starting with a basic home, complete in itself, many options, additions and built-ins can be added and arranged. In short a veritable Lego box of possibilities. The building blocks are adjusted to the right size and shape to meet individual needs and wishes, and a plethora of interior variations are also possible. Just as with a new car, the house is delivered in the preferred color: red, brown, white, green or blue.
Tremendous variety ‘ yet still with continuity. The buildings are all made of wood, and all the window frames are white. Also, a wall of rustic Bradstone surrounds the structures. As with a bookcase, whose overall look never changes despite the fact that the volumes that fill it may vary, these houses form a surprising but orchestrated whole.
This project attempts to answer an ever-growing need, a need that has a great impact on the work of an architect. The answer goes farther than a few interior options or the obligatory ‘geveltjes plakken’ (hiding the same standard house behind various façades). It is true freedom of choice, from a single person’s home/office to a bungalow-style flat for seniors. 28 dreams have given rise to 28 personalized homes.