The site of the Toolenburg Dutch Mountains is in the Haarlemmermeerpolder, an area in the west of the Netherlands, close Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
The design responds to ten themes that include ‘’self-conscious association with the polder’’, ‘’leaving uniformity behind’’. ‘’integration of the landscape and intensifying the greenery’’ and ‘’building for the 21st century’’. The objective is to retain the characteristic atmosphere of the area: the boundless horizon, the perspectives of the streets and trees, the water, and the spaces between rows of trees and open fields.
The design provides a new character by shifting the boundary between landscape and building, rather than replacing what already exists with a traditional street layout of individual houses and gardens. By increasing the density of the housing programme, the design maximises the landscape and offers the possibility to create a landmark. Transforming the notion of a traditional church tower, an icon visible from afar across the fields, creates a new identity: the Dutch Mountains. The depth and heights of the overall form that vary create a diversity of spaces that are flexible in function and space, each with its own identity.
Directly connected to the landscape are the lower floors, with the upper levels combining views over the site with the physical connection to the landscape. The apartments at the peak have an intimate atmosphere of ‘’living-in-the-clouds’’, with a view over the whole polder. The horizontal plane’s identity of the spaces is influenced by the context, with the diversity being an important aspect for the society that more and more aims for individuality. This design is a search for an architecture that is oriented towards the needs and wished of the inhabitant and visitor. The mixed program includes office space, a swimming pool, and a school. This also informs the design’s synergy and character with the closest towns, such as Hoofddorp and the park to the south of the site. This strategy aims to connect the inhabitants to a larger network made up of high-speed railways, motorways and the international airport that provides them with quick and easy access to other destinations in the world. Each apartment has digital data connections to access the internet and reinforce the idea of a cosmopolitan society.