- De Dichterlijke Vrijheid, Poetic Freedom    click here to open paper content1265 kb
by    Hulshof, Ineke | ineke@hulshof-architecten.nl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The city of Rotterdam gave houses away for free. Not really for free but very affordable. A project was realized with a collective assignment which connects a wide individual freedom with powerful architecture in a very sustainable way.
According to the National Television News, the Rotterdam municipality gave houses away for free. The best publicity one can get. Of course it was not really for free, but it was very affordable: the future inhabitants had to consider an investment of € 1000,- for each square meter.
Limited by the concept of the development made by Hulshof Architects a project was realized with a collective assignment which connects a wide individual freedom with a powerful architecture.

For users to make and decide themselves; this is the original idea for our approach in developing the so called “Wallisblok”. It is an area on the edge of ‘Spangen’ near the ‘Delfshaven Schie’. Many houses were bought by the municipality to avoid annoyance by drugs users.
The municipality was thinking about a new way of developing plans with communities of future owners inhabiting their own designs. Attention for this idea was raised by an evaluation on building in private assignment. Together this raised the idea to redevelop the “Wallisblok”. The project was named Poetic Freedom referring to the neighbourhoods streetnames.
In November 2004 the planning process started with a Group of 400 independent households interested in the approach. From these 400 we found 35 to start the development seriously, a society was founded in 2005. In September 2007 the project was completed.
The result is unique. An affordable product, made by developing this together, also resulting in a new feeling of togetherness in the effort to make more with less.
In this aspect the creativity of people shows great. By developing together more knowledge and variety emerges.

The sustainable components:
- it offers opportunities to enrich the urban environment
- it promotes independent caring
- it promotes private ownership
- it promotes community building
And most important: It makes building cheaper!

There were lots of challenges to deal with and all were beaten. The result is a happy community and a strong improvement of a former problem area. The rate for safety in Spangen went up from four to seven, which is very good.
Worth noting is also the amount of former (renting) inhabitants returning to own their house: approximately 20% of the households. They form a bridge to the neighbourhood.

Ineke Hulshof
collective assignment, regeneration, community building, save environment, affordable,
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