Sander Schreuder Architecten

Eco Tower | Master Project

2nd Master Project @ TU/e
Guided by Hajo Schilperoort
In cooperation with Ecodorp Brabant

Ecodorp Brabant

This project is in cooperation with Ecovillage Brabant, were so kind to take the role as virtual client. The students were given the freedom to ask questions to learn more about their lifestyle and wishes. The list of wishes needed some filtering to a more realistic program of demands, but before this is done, it is nice to see how the dream of the virtual client looks like:

  • As Theme: Connection / Cooperation
  • Sustainable building with bio-mimicry
  • Build there selves
  • Materials need to be local, organic and healthy
  • Energy independent with all kinds of sources
  • Grow their own food and an organic market
  • Quality, to reach publicity and city marketing
  • Location near the edge of the city and transport hubs
  • One private center and one public center
  • Place for meetings/ presentations/ eating
  • Education center
  • Wellness center or communal bathhouse
  • Tavern, for social interaction
  • Land art, gardens and a goat
  • Tea/ herbal garden

Living with:

  • 40 households, with 20 families and 20 singles
  • 20 guests, which follow workshops for a month

In their village an average family consists two adults and one, two or three children. With an average of 3 adults (two small children can count for one adult) per family, the tower should house a 100 people.

The concept

The ecological tower is per definition a contradictio in terminis. Without steel and concrete it would be far more ecological justified. Or in other words, building low to the ground structures which could be built completely in wood or bamboo.

In this case this project is a search for the balance to make the clients dream of the high rise Eco-community come true. A vertical village, with a durable structure and a flexible floor plan!

Organic structure

For this project we had to research the whishes which are related to the sustainable lifestyle and reducing the ecological footprint. The building is a durable structure which can grow and organize during time. It facilitates space were the residents can cultivate. This is meant in the broadest sense of the word: cultivate the space, themselves, as a community and their necessary ‘new’ skills for the sustainable lifestyle.

Sustainable solutions

A sustainable lifestyle and a smaller ecological footprint requires to have more resources nearby. Such as materials, food, water, energy. The reduction of ‘waste’ and the waste treatment should be in or around the structure when possible. Last but not least is the wish to be economical sustainable, with offices and workspaces in the building, to reduce travel and to provide an income by rent out space, organizing and facilitating meetings and giving workshops to spread their knowledge about the lifestyle.

  • Terra forming
  • Permaculture
  • Aqua phonics
  • Cleaning ponds
  • Vertical gardening
  • Flexible floor plan
  • Stairs are promoted
  • Harvesting (used) energy

The permaculture and the heavier vegetation are situated on the base of the tower, the higher, the lighter the vegetation. The steel structure and the concrete floors provide a two story high space. Energy can be harvested in different ways, one of them is trough fibers, such as in the wind protection net, to provide a comfortable climate to open the windows on higher floors. The stairs are situated to the front and more ‘logical’ to take when walking to the elevator. With 28 stories it can’t be denied an elevator is necessary. The idea is to guide the people by route, but also with information, waiting time and energy used and last but not least the tube is transparent so everybody can see who’s using them.

Street in a neighborhood

The tower is designed as a village, with a social hart, a ‘brink’ and provides opportunities to meet each other, especially in the small communities, like a street in a neighborhood. They can be built between the concrete slaps. From my own experience it’s nice to live in a street of ten houses. We knew all of them by name, eight of them we knew casually, three of them we trusted with our key. The idea was to make it possible to build small communities, of eight houses, four families and four singles. Where the communities themselves can design and build their own ‘street’ and find common ground, a reason to interact and build their social structure.


We were free to choose a location for the tower ourselves. The clients preferred a location between a city and a park, with an orientation to the sun. This in combination with the cost of investment I choose a fringe location near Rai and the ‘Zuid-as’ which is a business center and has a higher price per m², which is a reasonable argument to build higher.


Verder Bericht

Vorige Bericht

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