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Competition Who Cares - Designing Generation Neutral Living

Rotterdam, NL

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DUS is pleased to announce our vision - De Hofjes van Carnisse (The Courts of Carnisse) – has been selected for further development in round two of the national design competition - Who Cares.


The competition aims to explore innovative visions on how existing city neighbourhoods can be adapted to allow for a generation neutral living environment, where people can live longer and healthier in the comfort of their own neighbourhoods. With an aging housing stock designed for individualist living the aim was to create solutions so that we can move towards a more inclusive, active and mutually supportive urban environment. Can we adapt existing neighbourhoods into living environments that allow people to live happy, healthy and productive lives regardless of age or physical ability.


Who Cares is an a design competition initiated by the Rijksbouwmeester in collaboration with the ministry of Health, Sport & Wellbeing, The ministry of internal & royal affairs, Stichting Humanitas, The Council of Health & Society, The municipalities of Almere, Groningen, Rotterdam and Sittard-Geleen and the province of Limburg.

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Most of the housing stock in Carnisse is from the early years after the war, when creating a more equal society based around the needs of the individual was central to city planning. This has resulted in housing stock dominated by one single typology; The Portiek apartment building which in typology most closely resembles the tenement house typology. The Portiek apartment blocks are all elevated on a basement plint, have on average 4 levels and provide no internal elevator. House prices are low, home ownership is mainly private (only 14% is owned by a housing corporations). Buying a house in Carnisse is seen by many young people as a first step in the housing market, creating a very transient residential population.

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Our vision for Carnisse is a city neighbourhood where elderly can live healthy and independent lives while actively participating in the development of the productive city of Rotterdam. It is essential that the public realm allows for appropriation, so that the elderly can create urban pockets that are adapted to their own needs and allow them to age together in an environment that promotes mutual support and care. Through a flexible development strategy of redevelopment, new built and adaptation it is our ambition to create a series of small scale courtyard environments – The Courts of Carnisse.


The Courts of Carnisse can develop on different locations and function as steppingstones between parks, care centres and shopping streets. They allow for people with a disability, the elderly, care-takers and multi-generation families to establish themselves, meet and mutually support each other.


The Courts of Carnisse are created through an online platform where homeowners, developers, municipalities and caretakers can test and visualize ideas in a real time 3D environment. Within this environment costs and benefits can be compared and third parties can form collectives to initiate development of the Courts. Through this interactive development approach each Court is unique and invites the inhabitants of Carnisse to make a long lasting investment in the development of their neighbourhood.


Through the use of an online platform individual owners, tenants, corporations, the city council and developers can find each other and test new financing and development options in a live 3D environment.

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By expanding existing pedestrian areas, more public realm can be appropriated by the elderly, this is an essential step in the creation of a generation neutral neighbourhood.

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The existing corner apartments allow for redeveloped into courtyard typologies for multi-generation living, allowing for two generation to invest in a shared future.

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Existing housing can be redeveloped by a collective to

allow for elderly to live independent and mobile for longer.

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Through a variety of public typologies such as the Court Garden, The Court Tree, The Cityroom, and The Makers Hut, elderly can actively participate in the development of Rotterdam The Productive City

dutch urban solutions
dutch urban solutions
dutch urban solutions
01 - The Makers Hut
02 - Adapted Apartments
03 - The Community Livingroom
04 - The Community Tree
05 - Supported Living Unit
06 - Independent Living with Atrium
07 - Multi Generation Living Unit
08 - The Community Foodgarden
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