First Prefabricated Wooden Housing Modules Designed by RAU and SeARCH are Installed in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, the first Juf Nienke wooden housing modules, a new circular prefabricated timber housing development by SeARCH and RAU, have been installed. The project will include 61 rentals homes entirely made of wood and will be located at the entrance to Centrumeiland on Lake IJmeer. It also includes 1500 housing units. The innovative cross-laminated timber construction, as well as the use of recycled materials, will make it one of the most eco-friendly apartment buildings in the Netherlands.

© 3D studio Prins

Juf Nienke is located on the south side Centrumeiland. This new “rainproof” housing masterplan offers a variety of housing units, including parking, retail and public facilities. Half of the modules are medium-rent and will be dedicated to teachers and people in key positions within the city. To create larger homes with more exterior space, the prefabricated modules can be stacked or paired together. On the site’s north side, a low block of single-family houses will be built. A tall volume of apartments will span the Muiderlaan from the West. The Strandlaan will have smaller volumes towards the South.

© 3D studio Prins

The circular, energy-positive, nature-inclusive building will feature a wooden load-bearing structure 15m high on top of concrete platforms. Access to the building is via a prominent entrance, and a wide street that has stairs on both ends. Residents have direct access via the stairs to a deck that offers a spectacular view of the nearby communal courtyard garden. This elevated plinth offers public amenities such as shops, a coffee shop, shared workstations and studios.

Materials used are mostly biobased and can be recycled with minimal environmental impact. These prefabricated wooden modules can be disassembled and reused later. They have a standard width 4m. The houses, which are almost entirely made of wood, can store up to 580,000 kilograms of CO2, actively contributing towards a healthier climate and better living conditions.

© 3D studio Prins

Timber construction is our mission. We don’t need concrete blocks that have complicated systems that control our lives. We need lightweight, high-performance timber structures that can be sustainably harvested and that are both healthy for the people who live in them as well as the environment. Bjarne Mastenbroek is an architect and founder of SeARCH

© Stijn Poelstra

To further enhance the biodiversity of the site, landscape design for the inner garden as well as the communal deck was chosen carefully. A bat hotel is created on the roof of the carpark by installing bat boxes.

© Stijn Poelstra

The next months will see 6-12 residential units being placed in 12 phases. This will make Amsterdam’s most sustainable residential building ready for occupancy by June 2022. The modules will be delivered from Uden ready-made and then transported to Amsterdam, where they will be placed in the correct position.

© Stijn Poelstra

This project is a collaboration of SeARCH, RAU, Dokvast the developer and builders Hazenberg & Barli.