MVRDV reconsiders suburban living with plans to transform army barracks in germany
image © MVRDV

 

 

 

MVRDV has presented plans to redevelop a former US army barracks in the german city of mannheim. the 27,000 square meter project, titled ‘funari’, reconsiders the standard housing model and seeks to redefine suburban living by offering residents an affordable lifestyle, with individuality, diversity and community spirit. the scheme has been developed alongside traumhaus, a housing producer who focuses on low-cost high-quality homes based on standardized elements.

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between the houses, a park is formed from a series of path networks
image © MVRDV

 

 

 

a huge range of housing variations is distributed throughout the site, encouraging social diversity and a mix of different lifestyles. between the houses, a park is formed from a series of path networks, broken up by spaces designed for public activity — such as fruit alleys or butterfly gardens. the new village is a catalogue of dwelling and garden typologies, each designed to support a different type of household and demographic. each unit also has a private garden, handpicked by its residents to provide an outdoor living space that suits them.

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a huge range of housing variations is distributed across the site
image © MVRDV

 

 

 

the collaboration combines tradition with extravaganza, experience with experimentation, quality with quantity, sharing the ideal of variety and social access with innovation and realization,’ explain the architects. through encouraging a range of different inhabitants to occupy the area, the project hopes to transform the idea of village life — with segregated households — into a diverse community with a greater emphasis on individuality and quality of life.

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the development encourages social diversity and a mix of different lifestyles
image © made by mistake

 

 

 

funari brings back the varied neighborhood. it’s where you know your diverse community, where the kids can run around in the street, where your home is exactly what you need it to be,’ explains MVRDV founding partner winy maas. ‘but also it’s a comment on the housing system today. a system where young people can’t afford to buy, where ‘affordable housing’ is of such a poor quality, and where the suburban dream stamps out community spirit and individual expression. we want to show that there is another way.’

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the 27,000 square meter project reconsiders the standard housing model
image © made by mistake

 

 

 

vegetated houses appeal to the budding eco-family, while stilted dwellings open up the ground floor for future expansion. two larger apartment blocks combine various models in order to further encourage variety. the houses, split into five main categories, are arranged based on a predefined ratio of living types. this method means that diversity is inevitable, and that gentrification and community isolation is avoided.

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each household also has a private garden, handpicked by its residents
image © made by mistake

 

 

 

despite the scheme’s pedestrianization, residents are able to access their properties by car via a subterranean parking lot. however, residents are encouraged to use the tram line which runs adjacent to the development. access for emergency vehicles has also been taken into consideration.