Sterrenberg in Huis ter Heide, a facility for people with a mental handicap, has to become a model of ‘reverse integration’. It was originally a traditional care facility in the woods, where patients were isolated from society. In the past decade, however, its policy was directed at integration in society. This did not always work in practice, and now the idea of ‘reverse integration’, which involves ‘normal’ people from society going to live in the woods among the people with a mental disability, has been gaining ground. The commission for the Sterrenberg was to expand the existing complex with new dwellings, some of which are intended for the regular market and some for the care recipients.
The plan builds on the original urban design plan, in which the area is divided into three neighbourhoods. The idea was to create stability and recognizability within the neighbourhoods. Building types that, separate from the literal context, had a pleasant atmosphere and also were very identifiable. The three small neighbourhoods refer to recognizable archetypes. Colours play an important role in this for each neighbourhood. One of the neighbourhoods has a formal layout, with a monumental axis around a central flower garden. The homes in this neighbourhood are built in orange-red brick and are reminiscent of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Next to it is a neighbourhood of villas, with curving streets and detached houses in greenery. Here all the houses are of purple brick with black roof tiles. The third neighbourhood has a courtyard structure. Here you see terraced houses around courtyards, and the colour is predominantly ochre. This section is also where the existing main building is located, along with a central square with the specific care facilities and a number of collective functions, including shops. The three neighbourhoods were elaborated by different architects. The care facilities in each neighbourhood have to merge almost invisibly in the architecture of the regular houses. When you walk around, the reverse integration has to be complete.
[A] Jos van Eldonk
[P] 400 houses & care facilities
[G] Plan area: 372,954 m2
[C] Volker Wessels Vastgoed en Planoform Vastgoedontwikkeling