MVRDV’s porous Urban Hybrid project was just declared to be the winner of the Feldbreite competition for a housing block in Emmen, Switzerland. The proposal consists of 16 different housing types that combine the best aspects of urban and suburban life – privacy, underground parking, great location, gardens and a sense of community. The project is currently scheduled to break ground in 2015.

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In order to avoid the monolithic, dehumanizing appearance of typical housing blocks, MVRDV designed a porous, multilevel structure that offers an array of social scenarios and varying levels of privacy and affordability for a mixed group of inhabitants. The pixelated mega-structure comprises houses and apartments with differently colored facades modeled after typical buildings in historic Swiss town centers. The facades towards the interior of the block face a courtyard dominated by alternating public and private spaces. The garden and patio houses in the center of the courtyard have their own entrance doors.

The project will enable homeowners to buy more or less finished houses over a range of prices. Those with lower incomes will have the opportunity to choose the level of completeness of their home, delay investment or work on finishing the house themselves.