SKÆRING BÆK HOUSING STAGE II
Type: Open international competition.
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Living in a community means not only being part of group of home owners, but also being conscious about the surroundings and the landscape where they are inhabiting. In this proposal, the layout of the house units tries to define a new commonal place, whit all of them facing it, creating a new environment where to interact between all the people. It would be an open space not only for the new ones, but also for the existing homes.
Expanding the center to the boundaries produces an interior open space where to celebrate cultural events, practice sports and have some rest being far from the road and the industrial buildings next to the proposal. This multi purpose are will become a meeting place for the community owners, surrounded by nature.
The surrounding nature sets a new accoustic and visual barrier enclosing the community and producing a buffer where some open air and leisure activities can also happen. The use of local species of trees will assure a constant and sustainable growing of them. For this área, perennial trees such as the Abies Alba will be used. The inner garden becomes a charming and welcoming space where several trees, plants and flowers set a friendly environment where the inhabitants can share their spare time. Some community plantations, as small urban orchards, are also placed inside, promoting the use of local and proximity food.
There are two types of houses, A and B. The way they are set takes into acount the most suitable orientation, in order two let the more sun possible shine inside the inner garden, avoiding shaded areas. The tallest ones, B, are on the northern part of the settlement. There are four different sizes of house units, being A the most common with 42 units of 3 bedrooms, while B is divided into three types of two (12), three (24) and four bedrooms (12), being in total 90 units. All the house units have pitched roof and they are placed one to another creating a single unit where the roofs go up and down, defining a continuous zinc siloute. The living areas and the kitchen are facing the south while the bedrooms and bathrooms are on the opposite side. Brick on the exterior walls and wooden and linen finishings on the interior, try to create a recognizable image where tradition and modernity are mixed in a complex where the individual and the collective are surrounded by nature.
The ground floor needs to be used by the people living in this place and not by their cars. There will be only two streets of one direction each, surrounding the new complex and with a single line parking close to it. Slow mobility combined with cycling routes in a way that both the car and the pedestrian will be on the same level, and the last one will have priority while moving around. The extensión will be connected with the phase one just in one point, as well as it is planned to be set a secondary entrance on the north part of the plot. The pedestrian connection to the Fælleshuset, will be placed close to the riverside and surrounded by local plants and trees, creating a slow mobility path where open air activities a rest areas will enhance the social character of the whole community.
Sustainability should be understood as an attitude, where not just the construction techniques but the way the owners will use the new complex, will affect the surrounding landscape. All the building components will be chosen from local suppliers in order to reduce the carbón footprint of the whole process. On the other hand, renewable energy systems using the sun light and the geothermal heat will be implemented reducing the overall cost of each owner, by creating a centralised distribution center that could be extended to the existing homes if appropriate.