Dutch city lets first-time buyers build their own homes

Dutch city launches catalogue of architect-designed homes

News: Dutch city Nijmegen has launched a catalogue of affordable architect-designed housing kits for first-time buyers.

The initiative allows buyers with an annual salary of between €30,000 and €47,000 to choose from 29 designs by different architecture studios. The city has so far allocated 30 plots in the Vossenpels district for the homes, which will be built from prefabricated kits.

Dutch city lets first-time buyers build their own homes

Above: and top: houses by 8A Architecten

Over 20 architects have designed houses for the IbbN scheme - named after a phrase that means "I build affordable in Nijmegen" - including Rotterdam firm 8A Architecten. Studio director Robert Uijttewaal told Dezeen: "I think it's interesting as an architect to work on houses for first-time buyers. We've previously developed these kind of catalogue houses for more wealthy clients, but are trying more and more to develop housing for the lower end of the market. We think that's really important."

The project is based on a scheme piloted in Almere back in 2008, which so far has enabled the construction of nearly 400 new homes. Uijttewaal explains that the project not only helps buyers to get onto the property ladder, but also creates more work for architects. "This is something completely new to the Dutch housing market," he added.

Dutch city lets first-time buyers build their own homes

Above: House by Stan Aarts Architecten

Each residence would be constructed from a kit of prefabricated parts and the architect would work closely with a contractor to deliver the building on a strict budget. "It's not literally IKEA, but we try to make the build time as short as possible," said Uijttewaal, "so all the parts are prefabricated on the building plot and we build it in six to eight weeks."

8A Architecten has designed two houses, including a three-storey townhouse and a gabled two-storey family house. Rotterdam-based Exs Architects has designed a timber-clad stand-alone house, while terraced houses are offered by Dutch firms including Wessel van Geffen Architecten and WY. Architecten. See the complete IbbN catalogue of templates.

Dutch city lets first-time buyers build their own homes

Above: Deckhuis by Exs Architects

Other recent housing initiatives include programmes to build micro-apartments in New York and San Francisco. See more stories about housing on Dezeen.