Traumhaus Funari is an urban development on the site of a former U.S. military barracks in Germany. The neighborhood design takes a unique approach with a focus on green spaces and pedestrian access, while also creating affordable, diverse and individualized housing.

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Architectural firm MVRDV aims to redesign the idea of a suburban neighborhood by partnering with Traumhaus, a prefabricated home builder. Putting their strengths together has resulted in a district of homes that owners can help design from the ground up.

Related: DMAA designs Residential Greenhouse in Germany

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The process starts with Traumhaus’ standardized housing elements. From there, owners select from a set of variations on an original design. This allows each family to customize their home with material selection, interior layouts, size and architectural design. Designs range from single-level units equipped for handicapped access or senior living to stilt houses with outdoor living spaces. Developers hope this range of options will bring together a diverse neighborhood for families and individuals.

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In addition to variation across what could be otherwise be a monochromatic and cookie-cutter style development, the Traumhaus Funari homes with green façades offer environmentally friendly options that burst with color, for those who choose it, and use natural materials like wood for those who prefer a more natural look.

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The first phase of the masterplan will add 124 single-family homes and 26 apartments to the district. Outside the living spaces, underground parking keeps the surface level aimed at pedestrian travel and play. Plants, parks, sporting areas, gardens and walkways encourage a connection with nature. 

rendering of brightly colored gabled homes

“Traumhaus has already shown how a systematic construction approach can increase affordability and accessibility in housing,” said Winy Maas, MVRDV founding partner. “With Traumhaus Funari we want to take the next step, creating a model that retains this affordability while challenging the expectations for lifestyle, and the variety of ways to inhabit a suburb or village. In Funari we are creating something that is more sustainable and more social — a model that can be replicated across Germany and beyond, to the benefit of everyone. From Traumhaus to Traum world.”


Images via MVRDV