The Dutch Mountains

The Dutch Mountains

BLOC, Studio Marco Vermeulen and Urban XChange offer a shifting perspective on circular development. Together with Asito, Beveco, Dell Technologies, HEYDAY, SPIE, Strukton, Arup and Off Road Innovations.

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Radical City Symbol

A high tech and circular environment capable of change and improvement as time passes. And also the largest wooden building in the world. The Dutch Mountains is a groundbreaking project, due for realisation at Eindhoven Brainport by 2020.

High Tech X City Design

The Dutch Mountains is not a building. It is a symbol for a radical city approach in the smartest region of the world. A new living and working concept. Data-driven, flexible and upgradeable. Circular and sustainable. Developed by tech companies, service providers, developers and designers.

During the past eighteen months they examined the viability of their concept. The results of this stage are positive. Multiple operators have expressed interest in establishing a presence in The Dutch Mountains. The Veldhoven municipality has earmarked the De Run 1000 terrain for the project. As a result, the partners have decided to actually start the development of this exceptional complex.

Design: Studio Marco Vermeulen

Design: Studio Marco Vermeulen

Data- and experience-driven ecosystem

The project is groundbreaking in several ways. Beside hosting features including a large park, public facilities, short-stay facilities, a conference centre and commercial premises, the complex will also include all sorts of hi-tech innovations making it representative of what some are dubbing ‘the smartest region in the world’. The building will be optimally self-sufficient, featuring closed cycles for energy, water, waste and materials. One of the objectives is to use solid wood to construct the building because of the positive effect on CO2 deposition.

The Dutch Mountains is also distinctive because it is a total service system. Light, heating, food, furniture, installations and even the façades are provided as services within the project. This means it will be possible to replace software as well as hardware over the course of time. For example, the façade generates energy; if a smarter façade becomes available in the future that produces more energy than the current one, it will replace the old one which will be recycled or processed. Moreover, the complex is completely data-driven and experience-directed which adds to its upgradeability. Plus the environment can be constantly adjusted: spaces can be given a different function from one day to the next and sections of the building can adapt to changing market conditions.

From its inception the concept has been developed by tech companies and service providers who are normally only involved much further down the development chain. Together they are developing a new ‘white label’ service concept: an integral ‘ecosystem’ of services and technologies built around the user. This new service concept enables individual users to reside as pleasurably, comfortably and healthily as possible in the building – every user can regulate their own, personalized environment. In this sense The Dutch Mountains reduces the distance between users and service providers than any other platform. This requires a completely new operating and organizational model, the development of which is an integral part of the project (including the exploration of blockchain applications).


The Dutch Mountains will be the largest wooden building in the world. High tech in a natural environment.

High Tech Excellence

As part of the exploratory stage the initiators developed a technology survey covering over 100 technologies (dealing with items such as energy, materials, façade applications and smart mobility) which can be integrated in The Dutch Mountains. The majority of these were developed in the Brainport region. By applying these (and other) innovations in The Dutch Mountains, the complex will become a regional High Tech Excellence Centre.

Part of The Dutch Mountain’s objective is to drive the transformation of the De Run industrial park into a new kind of work landscape. To this end a vision for the development of De Run was formulated in 2017 together with ASML, the Maxima Medical Centre, WeRun, Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM) and the Veldhoven municipality. Part of this vision is to improve accessibility and provide opportunities for smart mobility.


The Dutch Mountains was initiated by BLOC, Studio Marco Vermeulen and Urban XChange. Developing partners are Asito, Beveco, Dell-EMC, HEYDAY, SPIE and Strukton. Arup and Off Road Innovations are the knowledge partners.


Design: Studio Marco Vermeulen

Design: Studio Marco Vermeulen

Key Elements

  • Multifunctional living and working landscape.
  • Largest wooden building in the world (positive for CO2 deposition).
  • Maximum level of self-sufficiency and circularity.
  • Ecosystem of services (even the hardware – like the façade – is supplied as a service).
  • Data-driven, flexible and ‘upgradeable’: able to improve with time.
  • High tech excellence: application centre for high-tech innovations from the region.
  • Concept includes (developing) Smart Mobility applications.
  • Innovative collaboration between technology companies, service providers, architects and developers.

Design: Studio Marco Vermeulen

Design: Studio Marco Vermeulen

The Dutch Mountains challenges

(1) Inclusive City

How do we create an environment for everyone in which happiness, well-being, personal development and talent development are optimised?

(2) Healthy City

How do we create an environment that makes the city dweller healthier?

(3) Natural City

How do we create a natural and green urban environment, both in terms of appearance, use of materials and in the way it works?

(4) Clean City

How do we ensure that we make the environment cleaner and improve air and water quality?

(5) Carbon Collecting City

How do we use the urban environment to reduce CO2 emissions while at the same time using CO2 as a raw material for the circular economy?

(6) Circular City

How do we achieve an ‘endless’ environment with maximum circularity and reuse of waste flows?

(7) Adaptable City

How do we ensure an environment that is constantly adaptable to social needs and market conditions?

(8) Upgradeable City

How do we create an environment that is able to improve over time and what type of organisation and exploitation model would best achieve this?

(9) Mobile City

How do we create a future-proof, clean mobility system that also provides sustainable access to the environment?

(10) High Tech City

How do we create an integrated system in which we accelerate the realisation of all the social goals (mentioned above) and which technologies would be part of this?

A new perspective for a world leading industry