The Dutch Mountains
BLOC, Studio Marco Vermeulen and Urban XChange offer a groundbraking perspective on circular development. Together with Asito/AAFM, Dell Technologies, Honeywell and SPIE.Read more
Service design comes full circleA super-circular structure capable of change and improvement as time passes; this is the objective of the Dutch Mountains project, due for realisation at Eindhoven Brainport by 2020.
Workplace of the future
BLOC, Studio Marco Vermeulen, and Urban XChange are launching a concerted effort to shape the working and residential habitats of the future based on a new and sustainable model of development with service at its core. In this effort, they co-operate with Asito/AAFM, Dell Technologies, Honeywell and SPIE. And they are supported by the Municipality of Veldhoven, SlimBouwen foundation for smart building, Arup and Eindhoven University of Technology.
The project consists of three elements: (1) development of a services ecosystem (2) embedded in groundbreaking design (3) with an innovative model of organisation and utilisation.
1. Ecosystem of services
A smart ecosystem of services heralds the onset of a disruptive approach: a comprehensive package of services that sets the stage for an ideal interactive residential, working, and living environment. Services are underpinned by the cream of smart installations, domotics, sensors, and software. On top of this, data analysis is implemented to keep improving user-friendliness, comfort, and health in the future. The coming about of this service package does not suffer from the usual limitations associated with buildings or spaces: the structure’s interior ecosystem determines the final design of the enveloping superstructure. That’s service design come full circle!
2. Groundbreaking design
The design is intended to embrace optimal comfort in residence, work, and living. Since the service ecosystem is dynamic in nature as it continues to change into the future, the building must be capable of matching the pace of this change. Spaces must be capable of accommodating new intended user groups, harbour novel functionalities, change shape, and shrink or expand. Materials have to be easy to replace. The building is required to modular to the point where it can be subjected to continuous updates and upgrades – perhaps even an occasional downgrade. This constitutes the basic assumption for revolutionary design, crystallising under the watchful gaze of multiple Archetizer Award winner Marco Vermeulen. In addition to its functional ambitions, the structure consists of materials that are either biodegradable or reusable, with a net surplus energy balance and a positive contribution to climate effects. The current design is elaborated in further detail based on its service environment as it takes shape.
3. Innovative model of organisation and utilisation
A dynamic and flexible ecosystem with a building to match: this calls for models of organisation and utilisation that diverge from the usual run of affairs. The model’s basic assumption dictates maximum ease of substitution, in terms of hardware and software alike. The Dutch Mountains comprises mutually complementary and reinforcing services operating both within and around the structure. Whenever smart facilities enter the market, current facilities must allow for hassle-free removal. If, say, a new type of building facade is developed that is better for the environment or generates more energy, the frame of the building must be able to accommodate it. Lighting, heating, food, furniture, facilities, facades, and flooring: these are all interpreted as services in the Dutch Mountains’ system. Hardware expenses are included in profit/loss calculations rather than on the balance sheet, which allows for listing them in terms of sustainable utilisation. Furthermore, the above calls for an entirely new organisational model. This explains the current absence of builders or developers at the table, as well as accounting for the lack of principals to commission the assignment; they would only impair development of any new model at this stage.
The prospective location for The Dutch Mountains is Eindhoven Brainport. The building is to become the focal point of the Brainport in its entirety, embodying applications of regional high tech innovations to represent what has been coined the smartest region in the world. Furthermore, The Dutch Mountains are to accommodate the Brainport Experience, which tells the story of the region’s technical feats and prowess. The building adds supplementary facilities to the wider area, ranging from short or long stay accommodations for knowledge workers to a large park area with public access constituting the very heart of the building.
The Dutch Mountains derives its name from the shape of the building, symbolising two hilltops connected by a valley set in between. More importantly, the name refers to the unexpected and the non-self-evident, which certainly applies to hillside landscapes sticking out against the level backdrop of the Low Countries. The initiators have the drive to turn The Dutch Mountains into a genuine boost for the region by 2020, and to astound the world by means of a novel and unexpected perspective on true sustainable development.