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Het Hof van Cartesius: the circular hotspot for circular action

Type of organisation or company:

Country: 
Netherlands
City: 
Utrecht

Language for original content:

Ongoing: 
Yes
Description: 

Het Hof van Cartesius is a non-governmental, bottom-up cooperative that provides circular and green workspaces for sustainable and creative entrepreneurs. The buildings are constructed completely with respect for circular design, using only secondary or biobased material.

The entrepreneurs use the buildings as tenants and as part of a cooperative association with joint ownership. The buildings host companies focusing on topics such urban strategies, circular coffee, sustainable shoes, circular buildings, circular interior design, and furniture restoration. They create a safe and stable alternative for small companies that lose office space to more lucrative and bigger companies. Their vision of the cooperative aligns with a can-do mentality.

The cooperative's core principles seek to ensure a bottom-up community immersed in a regenerative garden that is based on circular and material-driven design and serves as a catalyst for the redevelopment of the neighbourhood, with a high respect for people and nature. This strategy comes into practice by using as little new material as possible.

Main results: 

​Since its origin in 2017, Hof van Cartesius has achieved the following:

  • buildings made with the 10 R's in mind: refuse, reduce, redesign, re-use, repair, refurbish, remanufacture, repurpose, recycle, and recover
  • ranking 17th in the Sustainable Top 100 in Dagblad Trouw in 2019
  • 2600 m² of permanent workspace in 2020 for 120 sustainable entrepreneurs
  • 90% of construction using secondary or biobased materials 
  • 6000 (inter)national visitors, policy makers and students annually
  • generating 40 000 kWh of solar electricity for self-consumption
  • community-run climate-adaptive vegetable garden and its own waste management system 
  • weekly workshops on carpentry, brewing and baking, and social gatherings hosted for the neighbourhood.