Home » Sustainable and affordable urban block coming to Amsterdam


Located in Amsterdam, Robin Wood will be the most sustainable yet affordable wooden urban block in the Netherlands. The block features mixed-use property, including residential and commercial units available. It will feature 165 dividable homes that will serve the private sector, medium and large families and office users.

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The modular city was designed by Marc Koehler Architects and ANA Architects to create sustainable blocks for the future. The futuristic aspects of the entire design rests in its location, materials used, CO2 emission control and energy efficiency. The project will be brought to life by two developers: Edwin Oostmeijer Project Development and MaMa Pioneers.

Related: Meet The Line, a sustainable design that looks like a ship

A lot surrounded by water filled with urban wooden blocks

Traditionally, urban blocks are built with concrete. The Robin Wood block will not only feature modern high-rise buildings, but will be made entirely out of wood and other recyclable materials. Wood improves the quality of life since it does not introduce unknown contaminants into the environment.

A view of a building with a bridge connecting it to a neighboring building

“Wood stores CO2 and offers a healthy living environment because it is breathable, moisture regulating and has excellent acoustic properties,” said Mark Koehler Architects in a press statement. “Robin Wood promotes intensive timber bio-based construction and CO2-neutral housing.”

People sitting outside underneath an open hallway

The entire block will be net-zero carbon emissions during the construction phase and after it is open. With such a huge bulk of wood to be used (in addition to other aspects of the construction that limit CO2 emissions) the structure will indirectly offset emissions from 39,149,254 kilometers of exhaust for a mid-range car, according to the calculations made by Mark Koehler Architects and the team behind the project.

People sitting on a green roof where there are gardens

The other outstanding aspect of the development is the tiny indigenous forest included on the property. The tiny forest is rich with a variety of highly compact indigenous species, increasing local biodiversity and creating an ideal environment for outdoor activities.

A library with people sitting about reading books

Furthermore, the development is enriched with common areas that are open to all residents, which will promote a more social urban block. Social interaction is a key part to building sustainable societies.

An open hallways where a man sits on a chair with a child wearing a yellow shirt plays on the ground

“Social cohesion contributes to a more cohesive and inclusive urban environment,” stated MaMa Pioneers. “With most modern urban spaces, people live outside the social scope. This limits accountability when it comes to caring for the environment.”

A black cat sits on a rug facing a window from the second floor

Although most parts of the development are made out of wood, aluminum for the windows and door frames have been used. More interesting is the fact that the construction will be done offsite. Prefabricated wooden panels are brought on-site for assembly, reducing waste and cutting down waste that would result from onsite constructions.

A living room space that has views of the ocean outside

Robin Wood will be the first-of-its-kind block in the Netherlands, leading the way for many other cities across the world. The concept is proof that environmental matters can be considered together with economic and modern developments. It is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

+ Marc Koehler Architects

Images via Marc Koehler Architects



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