Architects reinvent the typical Dutch terraced house using funda's big data

The 'funda House' brings dreams, wishes and reality closer together

09 FEBRUARY 2017, AMSTERDAM
Summary
The largest property website of the Netherlands, funda, is visited over one million times a day, and almost one billion houses are viewed a year. The interaction between all the visitors to the website and the houses on offer leads to what is known as 'big data', with which it is possible to create a unique picture of the housing needs of people in the Netherlands. The Dutch dream of castles, they wish they could afford a detached house, but settle for a terraced house. Funda asked two architects to design a house on the basis of these insights of the Netherlands. This was to be a house in which dreams, wishes and reality were combined: the funda House.

Dreams and reality
It's fairly noticeable how often villas and castles which are up for sale are viewed on the funda website, especially by people who are 'window shopping'. The serious visitor uses funda to search for detached houses, while in reality, terraced houses are the best-sellers. Both the dreamers and serious house-hunters are looking for space, which is scarce in this small, densely-populated country.Dreams, wishes and reality are, as a result, very far apart. Jurriaan van Gent, Data Analyst at funda: "People searching for houses on funda are clearly looking for larger houses than they can really afford. We thought it would be interesting to take this a step further: would it be possible to combine dreams with reality? How would you be able to achieve this visually? We have used the data we collected as building blocks. The fun thing about all this is that the data is actually less abstract than you might think. You can actually use it to design a house."

An interpretation of the data
Jeroen Atteveld (Heren 5 architects) and Dingeman Deijs (Dingeman Deijs Architects) made 'space and freedom' the foundation of their design for the funda House. Deijs: 'We think that a feeling of 'spaciousness' is incredibly important. That feeling can be created by other factors than simply square meter plot size or living area, such as, for example, the ways in which you can look and move through a home, the views and amount of natural light. That's why we took the spacial qualities of a castle as a starting point, and applied them to a terraced house."

The reinvention of the terraced house
The funda House is, on the one hand, recognizably a terraced house, with three floors, pointed roof and dormer, but on the other, it surprisingly differs in a number of ways. It has an open landing and the stairs meander through the house, connecting all the rooms with one another. In this way, natural light is able to enter the house from all angles, and exciting views are created between the rooms, which creates a spacious and well-lit home. The funda House's appearance is also different to what one might usually expect. The facade is more closed, giving a greater sense of privacy, which contrasts with the back of the funda House, which has double doors opening into the back garden.

A terraced castle
The thick walls, which are so characteristic of a castle, are applied in the funda House in order to create space for the kitchen, cabinet space, bathroom and bedrooms. The royal-sized living space is two stories high and 145m3, giving it the spacious feel so many people are looking for. The other rooms, such as the bedrooms, are smaller than they are in normal terraced houses. They retain their function in the funda House, but have a smaller setup, and each have a different special characteristic, such as the box-bed, the tower room and the walk-in bath.

"Especially now the real estate market in the Netherlands is picking up again and houses are being sold at a faster rate, it is important to continue to listen to the housing needs of the Dutch people and create innovative homes. The purpose of the funda House is to start a discussion about how Dutch people want to live and what the role of big data could be," says Jeroen Atteveld, architect.

About funda
Funda is the Netherlands' largest online real estate portal. It attracts more than 4.3 million unique visitors a month, 36 million visits and 10 million search requests. 1 billion houses are viewed on funda every year. By using big data, funda has a unique insight into the housing wishes of the Dutch people. As a reference: the Dutch population just crossed 17 million people.

Quotes
"Our question was: is it possible build a house using the funda data?" Jurriaan van Gent
"A castle was the basis for a new kind of terraced house." Dingeman Deijs
"The purpose of the funda House is to start a discussion about how Dutch people want to live and what the role of big data could be." Jeroen Atteveld
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About Funda

Funda is in 2001 door de NVM opgericht om het aanbieden en bekijken van vastgoed zo makkelijk mogelijk te maken. Met 4 miljoen unieke bezoekers per maand is funda hét online-vastgoedplatform van Nederland met het actuele koop- of huuraanbod van alle makelaars van Nederland. Funda onderscheidt zich als online platform door het bieden van de meest actuele, betrouwbare en volledige informatie over woningen én commercieel vastgoed. Momenteel is funda aan het verbreden van een vraag-en-aanbod-website voor woningen naar een platform voor de totale wooncyclus.