If you live or work in a city, chances are your view doesn’t contain much green. There may be a few trees lining the streets, but it’s nothing like architect Raimond de Hullu’s vision for urban development. In his mind, buildings and streets should look like something out of Life After People — only with humans still walking around.
The Dutch architect’s Oas1s design would be green in both senses of the word. “Imagine living with nothing but green around you,” de Hullu tells Co.Exist. “Imagine growing flowers or tomatoes on your façade.” The buildings use renewable energy and are made from recycled wood and organic insulation. They would blend in with the rest of the forest environment, because they’d be covered in wood and leaves. It’s what’s known as “cradle-to-cradle” design, meaning everything is efficient and waste-free.
It’d be a bit like living in the middle of a park … and in the middle of a city. The city would exist around the edges, but inside the community there wouldn’t really be streets and no cars. Instead, residents would park on the outside of the Oas1s and walk through the forest-like surroundings to get back home. Sounds lovely, unless you’re carrying lots of groceries.
As far as capacity, these communities would house more people than a suburb but fewer than a traditional city block, though de Hullu says the buildings could be mixed-use and the land itself would double as a park. To make these homes accessible and affordable, he envisions a nonprofit owning the land and limiting the profit owners could make selling the buildings.
For now, the Oas1s is still just an idea, and de Hullu is looking for the first location to plant the community. If it catches on, though, people could be living in their very own tree houses one day.