The Grow Home is back with these flatpack houses for Dutch first-time homebuyers.
In the Netherlands, first time buyers can buy an architect-designed flatpack home for under US$150,000, on lots sold by the Municipality. According to the Guardian,
I build affordable in Nijmegen/Promo image
Elsbeth Ronner of LRVH architects explains:
© Avi Friedman
Reading the Guardian and looking at the site, I couldn’t help but think that I had seen this before. In fact, it is pretty much the same idea as the Grow Home, developed in Montreal in the early 1990s by Avi Friedman and Witold Rybczynski at McGill University. It was described in The Tyee as:
Friedman wrote in the Grow Home book:
Rybczynski picks up the story in the Atlantic in a 1991 article.
The entire house was designed to be adaptable; the second floor was not even completely finished.
Witold Rybczynski /via
The Grow Homes were built conventionally, in a townhouse form to reduce land and construction costs. Rybczynski notes that this kind of design makes more pleasant, walkable communities:
The Dutch program is really an update of the Grow Home using newer technologies. The fact that they are detached gives the purchaser a little more flexibility, but at the cost of urbanity and walkability.
Perhaps planners and builders should be looking more closely at the work of Avi Friedman and Witold Rybczynski back in 1990. As Friedman says in the Tyee: