@TU Delft. Making a fairbnb, Explore Lab Graduation Project

My Explore Lab graduation project consists of a strategy and a pilot design project on how to realise
 a fair B&B system within the Amsterdam city centre. A fairbnb is a socially and architecturally sustainable solution
, combining the demands of the locals and the tourists, by creating affordable housing in combination with B&B facilities, incorporating facilities for both tourist and locals to enjoy, and letting the tourist pay for the affordable housing.


The origin for this concept and fascination was the current situation in various tourist destinations:
many popular holiday destinations require more and more tourist sleeping arrangements, while the local population is forced to move away to make room or because of the lack of affordable housing. In affluent Amsterdam for instance, hotel space is increasingly in high demand and constantly being developed, while affordable housing production lags behind or is concentrated along the less desirable periphery. In the meantime, interaction with the local population is becoming a added attraction for these holiday destinations: social media house exchange groups or staying at someone’s house through initiatives like Airbnb, are proving to be a much appreciated way of experiencing a new environment through the eyes of the locals. City councils are nonetheless not amused. More and more cities fear becoming fair grounds, emptied during the off-season; lacking in services because the actual population supporting them is moving away, letting out its houses to tourists or not being to able afford any housing the desired areas.

A possible solution for this problem could be a mixed dwelling typology consisting of affordable housing combined with B&B accommodation within an existing housing project, allowing the tourist to pay for the development of such affordable housing. The so-called fairbnb housing complex could act as a socially and architecturally sustainable solution, combining the demands of locals and tourists, offering an economically viable alternative through an architect initiated example of unsolicited architecture, hopefully resulting in added value for society as a whole.

For the development of the design, previous research and study was done to establish a viable strategy for such a fairbnb to be developed. The driving question for this research was:
How can architects initiate a housing project and provide a successful basis for a fairbnb concept to succeed?
During the research and study phase several architects and stockholders were interviewed in an effort to answer the stated question. Among others these were:

From this research and study phase several conclusions were drawn:

  • Development by architects indeed allows non-profitable ambitions to be more attainable
  • 20 dwellings is a minimum to develop shared functions and a desirable size for external financing
  • Either ‘achtervang’ or contractor financing is the most desirable form of financing.
  • A ‘cooperation’ seems to be the best way to ensure communal goals
  • Due to regulation demands the dwelling size should be between 100 and 150m2, since dwellings cannot be rented out for more than 40%
  • The two bedroom apartment might be the most flexible type.
  • Separate entrances are a requirement and beneficiary for changes in function over time
  • Some housing cooperations will allow seasonal rental
  • A B&B income can equal the mortgage for a 100 to 150m2 dwelling in the centre of Amsterdam

For a full account of the conclusions please read the report itself:
The Rebirth of the Architect Developer – A.F.Mooi

The conclusions together with the proposed site constraints resulted in a design for a reused concrete structure in the centre of Amsterdam. The former EGM Building has been stripped and redesigned as 26 new dwellings, all with a separate and rentable floor. The apartments share a ground floor with communal facilities and a café. The square has been restructured with a reflective, purifying pond for rainwater collection. For a more extensive description, I kindly refer you the presentation above or the drawings below.


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