Hans van Heeswijk Architects

A home the grows upward, not out.

It’s not often that a European architect approaches American-style tract housing with anything resembling desire. But on a tour of the modernist developer Joseph Eichler’s homes in and around San Francisco, the Dutch architect Hans van Heeswijk was taken with the region’s hilly expanses of single-family homes. Imposing that style of development onto the already saturated Dutch Randstad—the urban super-region comprising Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht—is obviously out of the question, but California’s spaciousness got Heeswijk thinking about how to build a Dutch residence with the same sense of air and possibility.

Like a downsized multifamily residence, van Heeswijk’s concept for a minimalist prefab dwelling reimagines the single-family home as a compact tower-villa. Each floor is dedicated to a specific activity (eating, sleeping, lounging, working), and levels can be added or subtracted to accommodate more or fewer functions. And in the absence of hills, the Meandering Tower House offers more expansive views—ideally of other tower houses.

Hans van Heeswijk’s home in IJburg, Amsterdam

The concept remains unbuilt, but van Heeswijk took the same space-stacking approach, albeit on a larger scale, for his own home in the IJburg neighborhood of Amsterdam.

Towers in the meadow: A rendering of a prefab tower-villa neighborhood.


 

All images courtesy of Hans van Heeswijk Architects

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. MapLab

    MapLab: Killer Apps

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. Life

    Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

    According to a new analysis, places away from the coasts in the Sunbelt and West are pulling ahead when it comes to attracting talented workers.

  4. photo: Chris Burden's "Urban Light," installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, features several of L.A.'s historic streetlight styles.
    Design

    The Future of the Streetlight Might Be in the Past

    A new competition from the L.A. mayor’s office invites designers to reimagine the rich history of civic illumination and create next-generation streetlights.

  5. photo: A Starship Technologies commercial delivery robot navigates a sidewalk.
    POV

    My Fight With a Sidewalk Robot

    A life-threatening encounter with AI technology convinced me that the needs of people with disabilities need to be engineered into our autonomous future.

×