In 2017 we took on the challenge of ensuring Venwoude’s continuation into the future, for the benefit of the children of our grandchildren. To achieve this, a full revitalization of the estate will be necessary in the coming years, including the replacement of the group buildings Zonnedauw and Gentiaan.
Building Venwoude’s future together
In November 2017, after a long preparatory process, we began construction on the first new building. With the help of many volunteers, sponsors and professionals we build it with our own hands. On the one hand, this is the only way we will be able to afford it. On the other hand, this form of co-creation will ensure that the building will be deeply anchored in ‘the Venwoude field’, consisting of the community and a wider circle of people supporting Venwoude. We expect the building to be ready early 2019.
Any contributions are very welcome, both financial gifts as donations in kind such as building materials, furniture, decorations and equipment. Building tools are also welcome, whether or not on loan. Below you find more information about the building’s design. For practical details of making a donation, please go to Giving and Receiving.
In November 2017, with the help of a group enthusiastic volunteers, we were able to finish in one weekend the foundations for the first new building. Since other building weekends have been organized and many more will follow.
To keep informed about upcoming building weekends, please contact Kees.
We look forward to see many of you at our construction site!
Design and materials
Our first new group facility is designed as a sustainable, simple and modest building that blends with the surrounding wood through its form and use of materials. We decided on a two-floor accommodation unit because the municipal zoning plan does not permit any extending of the built-on surface. Equipment and cupboards are concealed in the wooden walls as much as possible.
The whole building will get sustainable energy management systems, including PV (solar) panels, a heat pump, low-temperature heating and heat recovery from air and water treatment resulting in minimal CO2 emission. We will use LED lighting, triple glazing and high-quality isolation of outer walls, floors and roofs.
Dimensions: conference hall 187 m2, hallway 38 m2, entrance with coat hooks 17 m2, bedrooms/showers & toilets/storage/technical equipment 159 m2, bedrooms/showers & toilets on the first floor 159 m2. Total surface: about 560 m2.
In our choice for sustainable materials we take into account their whole life cycle (production, use and demolition) in order to reduce environmental damage to a minimum.
Our main building material will be FSC-certified wood. We use cellulose (shredded newspaper) as isolation material for a comfortable indoor climate, comparable to a breathable raincoat.
The floor of the hallway is provided with floor heating. The conference hall has a smooth, bouncy dance floor with comfort heating. The outer wall consists of tapered slats of larch wood. The whole roof will be provided with about 100 pieces of PV panels.
For furniture, decorations etcetera we will be chosing high-quality, sustainable materials as well.
Colors and light
The sober, natural lines of the design and the materials together create a clear, serene mood. The overall color scheme is white with wood and glass.
The tree-filtered light is drawn into the building through skylights and strips of light beneath the floating roof. Focused artificial lighting creates a harmonious skyline at night.
The hallway between the conference hall and the two-floor accommodation unit will get transparent walls and skylights in order to let in plenty of daylight. This suggests a visual continuation of the estate between both building units.
Entrance and hallway
The entrance, with coat hooks and shoe racks, leads to a hallway with a small pantry for coffee and tea as well as 40 open compartments for bags, water bottles, writing materials etcetera.
This hallway also serves as a meeting point during breaks. Its floor heating, wooden walls and lots of incoming day light make this an inviting, attractive space.
A back door gives entry to an outside terrace.
The huge glass front and upward-rising ceiling provide a beautiful view of the surrounding nature. The solid wooden back wall with storage spaces creates a sense of support. A low breast wall encircles the rest of the hall, providing a sense of security, an important requisite for many training and retreats. Only when the French doors are open, the forest seems to reach straight up to the hall.
The conference hall has energy-saving, adjustable LED lighting which makes it possible to create various moods: light & clear, warm & intimate or dark & quiet.
The comfortable floor heating is an obvious extra advantage for various types of bodywork such as yoga, breathwork, massage and tantra.
The hall also has a heat-recovering ventilation system for optimal energy saving. Doors and windows can be opened for extra ventilation.
The storage compartments in the wooden back provide space for high-quality audio and video equipment with a beamer that can be lowered from the ceiling. Superfast internet is available through a new glass-fiber connection. There is room for 60 meditation cushions, 40 matrasses and 30 backjacks, as well as an open cupboard for writing materials and water bottles. A niche provides space for a decorative stone or statue.
Tables, chairs and a wooden stage are stored in the storage space in the accommodations unit, with room for some 60 chairs and 15 tables.
Showers, toilets and bedrooms
Showers and toilets
In all, there will be 7 toilets, 5 on the ground floor and 2 on the first floor. There will be 8 single shower cabins, including one shower/toilet for the disabled.
All bathrooms have floor and wall tiling, lighted mirrors and water-saving showers and toilets.
The accommodation unit has room for 25 people divided over 5 double rooms and 15 single rooms.
All bedrooms have low-temperature radiators. Room temperatures can be adjusted independently.
The rooms contain wooden beds and night tables, tables, chairs and cupboards. They will be tastefully furnished with wall-to-wall carpeting, curtains, wall decorations and energy-saving lamps.