Heerhugowaard gets extensive wooden housing project

Heerhugowaard will have the largest wooden housing project in Europe, reports Mecanoo and Boparai Associates Architekten. The Woodstone project consists of five residential towers with 204 apartments and an area of ​​18,700 m.2. Construction will start in spring 2023.

Within the large wooden construction project, Boparai Associates designed towers A, B and C. Mecanoo designed towers D and E. The architectural firms have worked closely with Hamlet Design+Build Technology, which is responsible for the design and realization of the wooden hull. Other consultants are Pieters Bouwtechniek, Merosch and Arup.

The Woodstone project is located near both the station and the center of Heerhugowaard. Woodstone was designed within the urban plan by rudy uytenhaak + partners architects. The five towers stand as a unit, but spread out in the landscape designed by Rob van Dijk (Dijk&Co).

Due to early coordination between the Mecanoos and Boparai design teams regarding the materials, the buildings show a clear unity despite their individual appearance. Each building stands on a robustly designed concrete base. From the first floor, the load-bearing structure consists entirely of cross-laminated timber (CLT): a wooden hull and a wooden core and elevator shaft.

“The open wooden construction offers a high quality of living and forms a nice contrast to the architecture, where wood alternates between glass and brick,” says Arne Lijbers, partner at Mecanoo. Recycled azobé wood, which once functioned as sheeting, is used as wood cladding.

To provide early assurance of the structural feasibility of a solid wood version at the desired height, Hamlet designed the CLT hulls in parallel with the architectural design process. The towers were then designed from the inside out, according to the architects.

The triplets
The three towers designed by Boparai, called Drieling by the architecture firm, will be the first to be built. “For Boparai, it was the first time that we have designed wooden residential buildings of this size,” says director Neelu Boparai. The three almost identical buildings are located on the West Tangent and are positioned slightly twisted in relation to each other; As a result, they each attract attention in their own way.

The towers offer a great variety of housing, from studios to two-, three- and four-room apartments, with surfaces from 40 to 150 m2.2. The houses are all equipped with an outdoor space in the form of a conservatory, which means that they can also be used on cold days. With their triangular shape, the outdoor spaces give residents maximum views. Because the facades at Drieling are exposed to noise on one side, the conservatories also act as sound dampeners.

Mecanoo has designed a six- and a twelve-story tower with residences from 45 to more than 200 m.2. By alternating wooden facade cladding and glass sections in the plinth, the office has aimed for a natural connection with the landscape and an activation of the public space. Also with the spacious entrances, the buildings open up to the landscape and the routes in it.

The balconies offer a playful appearance due to the staggering from low to low, with a spacious terrace on the 1st floor, which runs around the all-sided towers. The two-story crown of the tallest tower has been retracted, which also gives the most spacious residences in the project spacious roof terraces. Like the lower tower’s single-layer crown, the crown is largely made of wood.

Big savings
Wooden high-rise buildings are predominantly built with a concrete core; Woodstone has chosen a completely wooden core to avoid problems that the combination of wood and concrete can cause, emphasize the architects. You can think of the differences in tolerances, shrinkage and temperature characteristics.

“To achieve a cost-effective wooden building, you have to think about implementation early in the design,” says Hans Lormans, founder of Hamlet. “Since the stability of the building could be achieved relatively easily with a wooden core, the choice for a complete version in CLT was quickly made.”

According to Hamlet and both architectural firms, the dry wood construction method saves a lot of time and costs in the implementation. In addition, the hull design is based on a scaffold-free construction, which also contributes to a reduction in construction costs.

The maximum use of CLT also leads to a significant CO2-reduction. The wooden shell of the buildings also stores more than 58,000 tonnes of CO22, according to the parties involved. In addition to the savings in time, costs and CO2emissions, the wooden shell provides residential quality, for example in the form of the wooden ceilings in the living rooms.

Merosch’s sustainability concept and Dijk&Co’s landscape design formed an integral part of the design process. Great emphasis was placed on biodiversity in the landscape design, the architects report. Other consultants are Pieters Bouwtechniek, Merosch and Arup. The initiator of the project is the construction company MJ de Nijs en Zonen.

The necessary 7,300 m3 wood comes from sustainably managed forests in Austria. Completion of Woodstone is scheduled for 2024, starting that spring with the Triplets.

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