Every parent wants to offer their child maximum opportunities for development and growth. Even if the child has a disability. There is also an additional concern: "Who will take care of our child when we are no around in the future?"
Toontjeshuizen wants to provide answers to these questions. Toontjeshuizen wants to let people with disabilities live as independently as possible and be fully part of society.
With various partners from the academic sector, the care sector, the technology sector and the construction sector, we are trying to make the new Toontjeshuizen concept into an exemplary model for circular housing. When making the various building choices, we mainly put the resident and his needs first. In addition, we tried to find a good balance between the affordability, the flexibility, the adaptability and the circularity of the project.
The architecture provides for the reversibility of the function of the spaces, as the needs of the residents also evolve.
With the Open Call Project subsidy, we were able to build up important knowledge that will benefit the adaptability, quality, sustainability and affordability of each care home.
Het Toontjeshuis is a story of co-creation. This meant an enormous added value to the project. After all, the involvement of the various partners created a large support base in the world of independent living for people with disabilities.
We very deliberately abandoned a number of fixed and ingrained patterns of thinking. We went back to basics and used our common sense. As a result, we did not make any unnecessary and unprofitable investments.
In order to ensure affordability, we used alternative land ownership: free disposal, long lease, co-housing with services, etc.
MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS LEARNED
If there is one lesson we have learned above all, it is that circular thinking is still far from established. The construction remains highly conservative. Changing things appears to be a hell of a task. Out-of-the-box thinking is absolutely essential.
We want to build flexibly, circularly, adaptably and affordably, but our residents always come first. After all, they are a target group that is very vulnerable in society. Some things were therefore not retained because they were too expensive. Other, more expensive items were retained because they were necessary.
15.000people with disabilities on waiting lists
39times in the media
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
The concept of the Toontjeshuizen will be rolled out in the whole of Flanders. At the moment there is certainty that we will be building a Toontjeshuis in Boom. We have also submitted building applications in Niel, Kuurne and Lubbeek. There are also projects with a high chance of success in Jabbeke, Bissegem, Laakdal and Sint-Niklaas.
We also have an interesting collaboration with the KU Leuven. Once our Toontjeshuis is inhabited, they will continue to monitor the project in terms of perception. As a developer, we can do our best to offer a perfect home, but in the end it is the experience of the residents that counts. Monitoring life in a Toontjeshuis is therefore very important for the sustainability of our project.