Living naturally. In Rotterdam, naturally.

“If we cannot find the perfect house, then we will just build it ourselves, right?” Natuurlijk Wonen, a sustainable construction project, gives architect Stefan Prins and his girlfriend Diana all the ingredients and freedom they need to build their dream (and their dream home).

Raw, robust, daring and creative. The skyline of Rotterdam is the city’s defining signature and a calling card for our architectural drive for innovation. As a city where people love to live, a city of architecture, Rotterdam builds and invests in innovative urban development. From fixer-uppers at just €1 to the sustainable redevelopment of the former Leonidas sports centre in the Esch area. Natuurlijk Wonen provides Rotterdam residents Stefan and Diana with an extraordinary opportunity.

The maximum in sustainability
“A unique project on many fronts,” Prins proclaims. “You can find that rare combination of that city feeling, close to the Maas River, in a green, small-scale setting. Together with the other residents, we are building a completely new, green district here. The municipality facilitates and supports. We have only been given a number of parameters to work with. That framework offers a maximum in sustainability. We build using sustainable materials and we have the challenge to keep energy use as low as possible. For instance by regulating temperature using sustainable techniques. The district will also be a low-traffic zone. Within that framework, we are free to do whatever we want.”

Courage and decisive action
It was a degree of freedom that the architect embraced eagerly. The couple has built a lofty Scandinavian country villa on their plot. An open house, oriented towards the outdoors, to the greenery, just a ten-minute bike ride from the city centre. Prins: “This can only be done in Rotterdam. The experimental nature of this project suits this city. This city has guts. The people in this city are courageous and daring. We are go-getters. That vibe can really be felt in our own self-constructed neighbourhood. We build our dreams together. I had never expected to achieve that at this age, but somehow it actually seems to work.”

More info (in Dutch): www.kavelsleonidasrotterdam.nl and Pak je ruimte - Zelfbouw Rotterdam

Rotterdam. Make it Happen.