Celebrating start of construction of De Warren housing cooperative

10 May 2021

On 12 May, the De Warren Housing Cooperative will celebrate the start of the construction of its sustainable residential complex on Centrumeiland. Four years ago, she was the first in Amsterdam to win the pilot for housing cooperatives, a plan by alderman Laurens Ivens (Wonen), with the aim of insuring perpetual affordable rents for the city. Fifty members of the De Warren community have steadfastly risen to this challenge. Together they designed and developed the entire building, consisting of 36 social and medium-priced rental homes. Upon completion, they will collectively own the property and will also manage the property themselves. Alderman Laurens Ivens and Deputy Zita Pels (Circular Economy) will be present on Center Island in Amsterdam on 12 May at 2 p.m., to introduce the start of construction with beautiful words.

Chandar van der Zande, chairman and one of the initiators from the very beginning: “We are so very happy with this milestone! I am very proud of our community, the construction team and grateful to everyone who has stood by us. Our dream for sustainable, social and communal living is now becoming reality. We have worked very hard for four years, and we now prove: as a community you can take matters into your own hands and develop your own homes cooperatively. And if we can do it, the next group can too!”

De Warren is the first self-build housing cooperative in Amsterdam. The aim of the municipality is to make this form of development commonplace in Amsterdam. Alderman Ivens (Wonen): “Amsterdam has a major shortage of affordable housing. Tenants are faced with sky-high rents or are on a waiting list for years. The great thing about housing cooperatives is that groups of tenants get more control over their homes because they design, build and manage their housing and living spaces themselves. They then individually rent a house from the cooperative. In addition, the homes are also preserved in the long term for the low and middle incomes, because they cannot be sold or can end up in the free rental sector. This new form of living ensures more customization on the housing market, more involvement with each other, the neighborhood and the city. That is why as a college, and that is unique in the Netherlands, we have reserved 14 lots in the city especially for housing cooperatives.”

De Warren will be built in an extremely sustainable and circular way: with a wooden-hybrid supporting structure, a large green facade of used bollards, a facade of used ship planks, a rainwater buffer system that makes the building rainproof and rainwater can be reused. The building will also be energy-positive with almost 200 solar panels and its own heat and cold source through the use of energy poles.

Zita Pels, deputy for the province of Noord-Holland, and responsible for the transition to a circular economy: “Through the PDENH fund, we invest in projects that add ecological, social and economic value to our province. De Warren is an excellent example where everything comes together. Sustainably built, affordable, social, with circular applications. De Warren shows that it is possible. As a province, we are happy to contribute to that.”

De Warren is a social building in which 30 percent is set up for shared functions and spaces such as a yoga futsal room, communal garden and roof terrace, living room, communal kitchens, co-working space, music studio and DIY space. De Warren focuses on sharing equipment and tools, sharing mobility and collective food production in the greenhouse.

The construction team
The design is a co-creation between the members of De Warren and the architects of Natrufied Architecture. This design has been devised down to the smallest details in collaboration with sustainable building advice from Eco+Bouw, installation advice from GWBO, Kodi Energy-saving Techniques and the Dakdokters and the constructor from Pieters Bouwtechniek. The building will be realized by contractor ToekomstGroep in collaboration with Plumbers J&P and HIG Building Solutions.

Involve and manage a home
The construction of De Warren will last until the summer of 2022, after which the residents will move in together after a month. After completion, the building will be jointly owned by the housing cooperative itself and the members will manage it. Together with its partners, De Warren realizes perpetual social and medium-price rent in a very sustainable building on Centrumeiland, the self-build island of Amsterdam.

(See for the original press release: dewarren.nl))

Impression: Natrufied Architecture

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