Discover our Prototype

Discover the design of our 1:1 prototype we built in Wuppertal!

Meet our symbiotic prototype!

In order to test our symbiotic renovation and densification strategy SUM has designed and built a prototype housing unit that is fully accessible to all visitors during the Solar Decathlon Europe Competition in Wuppertal. With this prototype we have been able to prove our house functionality, energy efficiency, and modular design. The prototype is currently part of the living lab research project of the Bergische University of Wuppertal. If you are interested in a visit, feel free to contact us and we can set up a meeting in the prototype.

Smart design through BIM

Both our prototype and building design have been developed using BIM software, we specifically used Revit and BIM360 in collaboration with Autodesk to generate and test our design to its fullest potential.

A vibrant social space

The prototype consists of two decks that will simulate the actual local site conditions of a typical tenement flat in The Hague. On one side of the prototype, you will experience our new street redevelopment that shows how a traditional Dutch street can be transformed into a lively, safe and shared space between pedestrians and cyclists. With its more defined meeting points and the reintroduction of public functions on the ground floor, the prototype and its living street will serve as our main entrance to the prototype.

Sensory. And engaging.

The second deck will simulate the courtyard side of our tenement flat. Here you will be able to enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer together with friends, family and neighbours. The courtyard deck provides ample recreational space to sit down, relax and take in all that the prototype has to offer. The courtyard deck is furnished with our own modular urban elements that function as seating, planters, bicycle storage, and much more.  This will be available for residents to assemble themselves and take ownership of the otherwise collective courtyard. All in all, our prototype site will be a sensory and engaging environment and we hope to welcome you soon!

A perfect place for you to be

The ground floor of our design restores, with respect to the heritage, the original public and commercial plinth of the tenement flat. In the prototype it houses a community workshop that promotes social interaction through a social space that can be transformed into a community café. Both zones are connected by a timber peg wall system which acts as a tool library, secondhand shop, furniture storage, and notice board for the neighbourhood. During our time in Wuppertal, this will be the place to be!

Ready for generations to come

In order to stay true to the building's identity, key characteristics like the window openings and the warm appearance of the brick facade are kept. We are mounting a biobased, insulated, and lightweight modular secondary facade onto the surface of the existing building in an efficient and sustainable manner. The secondary facade will make use of a newly developed composite material. It is extremely light-weight and highly insulative, because it is made from waste materials that are not only recycled but are actually upcycled. By doing so we create an envelope that is both mindful of its heritage and making the tenement flat ready for generations to come.

Solar powered. And bio-based.

The top-up modules are the energy producers of the building. This is expressed through the Photovoltaic envelope and roof. The square shaped building-integrated PV panels use a new technology so they can be produced in a wide color range. The use of these PV panels enables us to create a suitable facade aesthetic within every post-war urban context. The wooden facade assembly of the top-up features a bio-based insulation that is produced from paper pulp, achieving a light-weight and carbon neutral facade that reaches passive house standards.

Everything you need in one place

Accessibility and inclusivity are core values of our symbiotic vision and the addition of the new circulation-core and gallery will make our building and prototype fully accessible to all residents and visitors.

Two modules. Endless scenarios.

The top-up consists of 2 modules. One smart module with all necessary appliances and built in furniture pieces, and another open and flexible module that residents can make their own. Our moveable feature wall is made of various modules with different functions that can be customized, demounted and re-used. This feature wall allows for different living scenarios such as sleeping, studying and entertaining. The openings in the facade allow interaction between inside and outside space, extending the living room onto the gallery. These same openings provide the rooms with plenty of natural light. Our additional lighting strategy is to use adaptable lighting fixtures that are flexible and can set different moods. The use of colour-customizable LED lights provides the ability to change the quality of the light and atmosphere depending on the required tasks while maintaining a low energy consumption, again promoting different living scenarios.