Groenmarkt: Amsterdam’s nature-inclusive housing blocks with rooftop dune

Two new housing blocks in Amsterdam are to be built as a place where bats, birds, bees, and butterflies live alongside humans, and with a spectacular rooftop dune landscape.

The nature-inclusive blocks, situated on the Singel canal, feature green facades and a rooftop dune, where trees and native grass will be planted. An open-air natural swimming pool, greenhouse and wooden terrace completes the rooftop community space.

The development, known as Groenmarkt, is the brainchild of design agency, Buro Harro. Buro Harro designed Groenmarkt to be inhabited by humans, plantlife and wildlife. There are even openings in the brickwork where birds can breed, and climbing plants find their way up from planting areas around the building.

Burro Harro said: “This becomes a meeting place of significance. For young and old people. For house sparrows and busy bees. We embrace the city outside and inside here.

“The wind always blows on the roof, the sound of the city resembles the sound of the sea on the roof. We have achieved the matching landscape – the dunes (just as high and windy). You don’t have to leave Amsterdam anymore if you want to go to the beach.”

Burro Harro is a design agency that’s “constantly looking for ways to make nature and people, city and country go together better and more sensationally”.

Burro Harro

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at

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