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1960s: collective 1970s: semi-collective 2000s individual


The Polder Block is an ongoing research of Alexander Sverdlov and David Koezen. The research aims at development of modern housing types actively enganing both the community of people and the landscape. How housing project could introduce new dimensions of sustainability? How the housing market could adress wishes of the individuals in a better way? How to balalnce the individual and the collective? In this project water living, leisure lifestyles and diverse ecologies come togehter as a proposition for a new community.

1960s: collective 1970s: semi-collective 2000s individual 2020s customized collective

The project stands as a clear mark between the city and the (yet) open land. Facing the future extension of the city, the Polder Block introduces new relationships between city and landscape, the ones going beyond guilt of urbanization. The Polder Block takes the usual ingredients of a suburbia, with its low density, individual plots and free standing houses, and frames them into a perimetral block.

The extended partition walls become the means of co-existence, the mortar of the block, both separating the parcels and binding them together. Furthermore, the partition walls define highly specialized plots. The proportion of soil and water, different depth and specific flora are now in the hands of the dwellers themsevels... Consequently, landscape becomes a function of multiple, ever changing micro ecologies. The block turns into an urban device that intensifies and re-produces landscape instead of consuming it.

WATER AND ENERGY CYCLE THE SOLAR PANELS On top of the canopy housing there are solar panels. It is used as to provide electricity for the housing and if there is excess energy feed it back to the net. The block thus uses less electricity


THE CANOPY Spanning all of the plots in one go, The Canopy rests on The Walls and contains most of the housing program area on the second level. Therefore, in case of each individual parcel it frames the ground level access as a portal towards the landscape on the inside of the block. The car or the boat could be sheltered under the canopy marking the entrance of the house.


THE WALLS In the traditional city the firewall separated the buildings while allowing for density as they could join together. In the Interior Arcadia the firewall (waterwall) has more functions. Not only it separates the individual addresses but also makes the very carcass of each house. Going deep down into the Dutch soil, The Wall, minimizes the actual footprint of the house. Anchored at the perimeter of the block, and cutting a section of the land or water The Walls define the envelope for the individual ecology.



drinking water


grey water

THE HOUSE EXTENSIONS Giving attention to the diversity of modern lifestyles, of which not all could be foreseen, the project anticipates highly specific house extensions. The extra rooms join the Canopy in various ways. Would it be the extra bedroom, home cinema, garage or the workshop, they introduce a micro grain to the whole block. Visible from the outside, the extensions become yet another representation of the individual.




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THE CIRCULATION The interior Arcadia uses a water system that is entirely autarchic. The system starts with the retriieval of sufrace water of an existing water body in the neighborhood like a river, lake, wetlands, and so on. It purifies the water in a large orchard / vegetable / botanical garden outside of the block. The different ecologies within the block are being fed by the nutrient rich waters that were filtered by the gardens. Ecological life could sprawl under mint conditions. From there on the water (after a series of small filters) is being used as daily water for the inhabitants of the block, even drinking water. Compost toilets are used to prevent the mixing of grey and black water systems. The compost of the toilets can be used in the garden as vertilizer. After use the grey water is filtered by an external helophyte filter and released into the surface water of the surrounding area. The Interior Arcadia does not only serve itself but serves the net with electricity, produces food in it’s gardens and purifies water for it’s surrounding area.





BLOCK COMPONENTS A. Solar panels B. Canopy housing C. Housing extensions D. Partition walls E. Helophyte filter F. Water buffer G. Orchards / gardens water filter H. River THE CIRCULATION 1. Supply flow river water 2. Supply flow clean water to water buffer through garden filter 3. Internal circulation water buffer 4. Supply flow drinking water (+filter) 5. Return flow grey water 6. Return to surface water polder 7. Return compost used as fertilizer on orchard


A combination of different housing blocks

Elevated path for pedestrians and cyclists Car access

Navigable water Marina along the canal for medium-sized and large boats Marina within a residential block for small and medium-sized boats Interior water basins for small boats Dike Shallow water

Ground vegetation Water vegetation Beach Preserved grove Polder landscape


Boat house and garage

Two guest rooms

Artist’s studio

Glass house and sauna

Workshop and play house

Wet meadow

Wet ground with willows

Waterfront gardens

Home office

Sandy beach

Open water with floating reedbeds

Open water with rooted plants


Reed swamp





The Polder Block is an ongoing research of Alexander Sverdlov and David Koezen. The research aims at development of modern housing types act...

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