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The Netherlands is about to construct its largest timber affordable housing complex to date

Tim Gibson

16 February 2021


THIS 12-storey, timber-built residential complex has been announced for Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Valckensteyn will be the country’s largest timber-built affordable housing complex and represents a shift in Scandinavian construction towards more sustainable materials.

The complex sits on the site of a demolished residential flat bearing the same name in the Rotterdam neighbourhood of Pendrecht.

As Valckensteyn is to be constructed mostly of light-weight timber, the decision was made to reuse the existing foundations of the former building - greatly reducing the materials needed for construction.

Above: Balconies will provide wide vistas of the surrounding parkland. Image courtesy of Powerhouse Company.

The complex will include publicly accessible gardens with the ambition of making nature-inclusive living available to all.

The gardens - designed by LAP Landscape & Urban Design - are set to include a wealth of vegetation and plants that will flower year-round, attracting bees and other insects, stimulating biodiversity.

Even the car park is designed with sustainability in mind. It will be a “green carpet” with integrated water filtration and cement-free paving stones.

Within the apartments will be floor-to-ceiling windows allowing for far-reaching views on the upper floors, while west-facing balconies span the width of the apartments further connecting residents to nature.

Above: The complex will be the largest timber-built project of its kind in the Netherlands. Image courtesy of Powerhouse Company.

Designed by Powerhouse Company for housing corporation Woonstad Rotterdam, the scheme intends to prove that sustainable, all-timber construction is possible for any project.

As such, Valckensteyn has a concrete ground floor and core while its remaining 11 stories are built in cross-laminated timber (CLT), a carbon neutral and carbon sequestering material that generates 40 percent less waste than traditional methods of construction.

A number of high-profile timber projects have been making headlines across Scandinavia in recent months, including an entire school in Sweden made from cross-laminated timber and Denmark’s first “carbon-positive” hotel.

Powerhouse Company is an award-winning architecture studio based in Rotterdam. Founded in 2005 the firm now has offices in Beijing, Oslo and Munich.

Valckensteyn is set to begin construction in 2022.

Header image courtesy of Powerhouse Company.


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