Seven Heavens

The Seven Heavens (Zeven Hemels) project was part of the Dutch IFD government initiative which gave funding to projects which provided mass-customizable residential solutions to the public by exhibiting the characteristics of the three initials  – industrial, flexible and demountable.   Seven Heavens enthusiastically pushed the concept by including a novel steel structural system and a new form of ‘cooperative’ design (with one architect designing the base building and a set of architects selected by the residents each designing one of the seven residential floor levels including the façade for that level).  The result was an unknown ‘finished’ product which made it difficult to sell units – no units were pre-sold.


The intent was for the building to accommodate 19 residential units (120m2 ) and a ground floor with a shop and storage for the residents.  The steel skeleton with hollow core floors produced a column-free span of 12m allowing for an open plan layout to be designed completely as the resident desired (including the façade).  A universal connection detail was designed by the base architect to attach the façade panels back to the structure which allowed for them to be replaced or modified easily at any time.  However, the accrued novelty of so many aspects left the project overly ambitious and eventually shelved in 2002 due to scaling costs to realise the project.


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