OKRA designs natural roof for new residential and office complex in Utrecht Leidsche Rijn

OKRA has designed a natural roof for the new residential and work complex FAMILISTÈRE in the Utrecht district of Leidsche Rijn. FAMILISTÈRE consists of four unique buildings under a glass roof, designed by agency De Zwarte Hond and FARO architects.

The inspiration for this project is the Familistère in Guise, France: a beautiful example of collective living from the 19th century, designed and built by Jean-Baptiste André Godin. The new FAMILISTÈRE in Leidsche Rijn Centre comprises 122 flats in the medium-price rental segment, 60 underground parking spaces and 300 m2 commercial space. Central to the complex is the shared covered atrium that encourages residents to meet, stay and move around.

Besides being energy-efficient, FAMILISTÈRE had to be comfortable, promote healthy living, and grow along with the needs of the residents. The atrium plays a central role in this. The atrium is a pleasant place to stay all year round and has a warm atmosphere thanks to a lot of wood. There is mechanical ventilation, shared greenery, vegetable gardens along the balustrades and a beautiful central staircase where residents meet.

OKRA designed a plan to create a natural roof in addition to the shared greenery in the atrium: a place for nature and biodiversity. The entire roof is green, with 100% indigenous plant species, an insect hotel and nesting sites. Rainwater is collected on the green roof and in retention crates. Part of this water is used to water the plants in the atrium, in order to use the rainwater as efficiently as possible.