Amsterdam architect designs 'terraced housing' with 360 degree views

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His design of a floating bed was named  the best invention in 2006 by Time Magazine, but his home from a 3D printer was also appreciated worldwide. Now the Amsterdam architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars again comes up with an innovative design: terraced houses with a 360 degrees view.

An example of Terraced Housing from Universe Architecture (handout photo)

Ruijssenaars  started the innovative design in response to a contest in 2009 in Peru. The client asked to design fewer homes than the size of the lot allowed. Following the principle of sliding blocks, famous from the Tetris game, he designed three terraced houses which give every resident 360 degree views, rather than just the front and back.

He accomplishes this by allowing floors to stand out. By allowing more people to enjoy the same area, you not only increase the density, but also the quality of living on a small plot, explains  Ruijssenaars. His 'Tetris houses' allow for all kinds of new solutions for urban and rural areas, and for effective construction on the water in areas affected by a rising sea level.

With his design, the architect breaks the cramped model of terrace housing as we've known it, living between two other houses with only a front and a back view. Other architects like Le Corbusier also played with increased density and a clear view, but not as drastic as  Ruijssenaars' design. Now it's up to developers and builders to realize the new way of terrace housing, according to the architect.

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