Straw district IEWAN

Building a unique project together

Anyone who passed the construction site on the Laauwikstraat in the Nijmegen town of Lent last year was witness to an unusual scene. Future tenants, volunteers and professional construction workers worked side by side to create a remarkable new construction project, with social rented houses built from straw, loam and wood. The complex was officially put into operation on 1 May 2015.

The future residents have filled up the timber frame with straw and finished the walls with clay plaster. They were supported by a total of more than two hundred volunteers who gained experience with straw and loam construction. The residential community offers space for families, living groups, single people and two-person households. At Iewan, 44 adults and 6 children live at the moment. Together they take care of their living environment. In addition to a large building with residential units, there is De Kleine Wiel, a multifunctional building where various activities are organized.

The communal garden is constructed on the basis of permaculture, an ecosystem that maintains itself and produces as many edible products as possible. The project has been built as ecologically as possible. This manifests itself not only in the choice of environmentally-friendly building materials such as straw and loam, but also in applications that stimulate reuse and energy saving. There are solar panels to generate energy and a reed filter for the purification of waste water

Project Details

CPO project
24 social rental properties
5 office spaces
1 Multifunctional room
Timber skeleton with straw insulation

2013 – 2015

2420 m2 / 8500 m3

Lent, Nijmegen (NL)

For the design of Iewan, the largest straw balustrade complex in the Netherlands, we have worked with Michel, the largest straw architect in the Netherlands. Given the experience with straw from ORIO architects, the choice was made quickly. One of the nicest moments of the entire design process: the speed dates of the architect with all 40 future residents, who have each invented their own floor plan!