Cascade park urban villas

2008 Queeste architecten
Almere The Netherlands


Project description

From the architects:
"Cascade is an experimental garden: It wants to teach people, make a change of course, while being aware of the
fact that an eco-effective world can't be realized in a day. The design of the Urban villa's, which is conform the cradle
to cradle vision, is sustainable without losing the 'villa feeling' .The stacked waterlilies consist of concrete floors
surrounded by a plant covered parapet. A light and flexible facade and wall system allows the space to be rearranged
for each target group, now and in the future. The building has been applied with a central elevator shaft that enables
man and vehicle to travel up and down. The elevator is accessible from each villa and there is the possibility to park
on the roof Sustainability goes further than improving the environment. Sustainable developments bring along substantial
improvements in the field of livability, flexibility, health, comfort and security. The building has been implemented
with a number of sustainable addition to the subjects mentioned earlier there are some clever technical
elements that contribute to a better living environment"



Cradle to cradle elements

The way in which the building is designed creates the possibility to easily separate the building into its materials.
Most of the building is made as a concrete structure supported by concrete columns. The glass facade and
inner walls can be demounted which leaves, after the removal of little insulation and cladding, a bare concrete
tructure behind.On the one hand this simple materialization of the building will make the recycling stage of the
technical nutrients easier.On the other we can ask why hardly any biological nutrients are used and why glass
and concrete are chosen as main building materials while these are high energy content materials that even when
separated require a lot of effort to recycle.

Water and energy
The building is using a number of technical solutions to provide in water and energy. Rainwater and surfacewater are
stored on the roof and can be used to flush the toilet and water plants, windturbines on the roof provide electric energy
and heat storage in the soil are used for both heating and cooling. The heat from exhausted air is used to heat the tap
water and vegetable waste is composted in the nearby environment.Except for the wind turbines which enhance the roof
line of the building all solutions are only technical solutions without explicit influence on the architecture. Whether the
building will produce more energy than it needs is a questionable fact. And despite of all these solutions the fully glazed
facade will require a lot of energy to keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer.



The project shows how widely the cradle to cradle concept can be interpreted by architects. The set of solutions presented
make the claim for a Cradle to Cradle building acceptable but at the same raises questions what this entitlement means in
terms of sustainability. In this case it means the use of a lot of energy during construction (concrete & glass), use (heat
loss & cooling) and the recycling stage (making new concrete & glass).



  1. Website Queeste architecten

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