Het Bosbad is located in park Bosrijk, a residential area where housing is designed to emulate “sculptures in a sculpture garden”. The building stands completely free in a clearing among the trees and is the latest in a series of special residential ensembles.
The building has a simple, rational design consisting of two rectangular volumes with a public, landscaped passageway between them and bridges and galleries giving access to the apartments. The passage connects to paths in the park, and its design with plants and water elements makes it a continuation of the park. This passageway is both the central entrance and a meeting place in the building. The apartments face this passage as well as the surrounding park.
Most of the apartments have corner windows with expansive views of the park and large balconies offering the opportunity to enter into the landscape. The balconies are continuous and supported by a colonnade of real tree trunks. The whole forms a kind of collar that provides a comfortable distance between residents and park visitors. In terms of materials, the building has a unitary appearance, with wood as the main material. The reused wood in the façade and the whimsical tree-trunk columns give the building a natural look, interweaving it with the forest landscape and softening the building’s rational layout.
The public green passage through the building not only provides a visual and physical connection to the park, it also has an important water management function. Rainwater coming from the galleries and the partly green roof runs into the passage via water chains and is collected into small ponds connected to one another. Excess water drains from the passage on the north side of the building and is collected in a wadi in the park. The presence of water combined with greenery also provides cooling in summer months.
With circular construction in mind, the building has a demountable concrete support structure made of green hollow-core slabs. The façade is also designed to be relatively easy to dismantle in the future. More than 85% of the building’s material weight can thus be reused or recycled in the future. Additionally, reused and renewable materials have also been employed. The hardwood façade cladding was previously used as riverbank protection, and the supporting columns are Eucalyptus tree trunks.
The building is designed to adapt to changes over its lifetime. Because installations are not cast in, and large column-free spaces have been created, floor plans can be arranged flexibly and the building can be adapted to the future without major structural changes. Great efforts were made to use materials more efficiently, including the use of lightweight hollow-core slabs – which is not common in current residential construction. This allows for saving up to 40-45% in material and weight compared to conventional constructions. In addition, the building is energy neutral.