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Re-Settle Studio, Almere

Re-settle Studio, Almere NL, Project Team: René van Zuuk , Athina Athiana, Wiola Gaura, Alberto Tonno, Design: 2016

In a world where living becomes more and more condensed, due to lack of available space, privacy arises as a very important issue. The current housing market tries to solve that issue by constructing rows of houses, stacked next to each other. However, such a solution provides only a limited view of the street and the backyard. Re-Settle Studio is a design that can be used either for a studio or a small house.

Ensuring the resident's privacy was one of the most important tasks at the Re-Settle studio design. The detached housing units are built on small lots. In order to solve the problem of intimacy, we fabricated a house with closed walls. Large roof lights illuminate the house, taking advantage of the daylight, while the glass doors provide an outside view. The bathroom is located inside a separate wooden element with a mezzanine on top. The mezzanine can function as a sleeping space. In this project, a cluster of three permanent housing units has been chosen, so that the quality of the design can be showcased to the maximum, and so that each resident can have their own personal space.

Structurally, the volumes are made out of modular elements cut out from a single rectangular block of Biofoam, with dimensions 4.4x2.25x1m. Produced elements can then be transported and packed together, forming a box where everything fits into one another, reducing the storage space to the minimum.

The design is the result of combining an efficient and fast cutting method, easy component transportation, a low-cost construction procedure, and materials possessing remarkable features. Biofoam is composed of only 4% biopolymers and 96% air. Since it is made only out of one material, it is 100% recyclable. It is also extremely cheap, without any dimension variations, nontoxic, and fireproof. It is impervious to moisture and has unique properties in terms of insulation.

With this proposal, we build on the experience we have gained from our previous projects. The design consists of a pressure arc, where Biofoam is used as the printing material. The Biofoam rings are glued together to form a monolithic structure. Incisions for the doors and windows are made at a later stage. On the outside and the inside, the foam is finished with Acrylic-One. Acrylic-One is an environmentally friendly two-component resin, consisting of water-based acrylic resin and a mineral powder. The mix is completed with the addition of glass fibers. The pavilion is covered with four layers of Acrylic-One, making it waterproof and resistant to vandalism. A variety of mineral powders are available so that the house can have its own distinct character. Here, we chose to utilize iron powder, which will rust and give the houses a corten-style appearance. The last layer is a transparent cover layer, ensuring that the resin can last for decades.

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