Work will start next year in Utrecht on building a special residential complex containing 150 apartments aimed at healthy and mobile people over the age of 55, and encouraging them to stay that way. 

The project, developed by Holland Metropole partner Dura Vermeer, is in the city’s Leidsche Rijn district and will cover 47,000 square metres when completed.

The aim of the Legends housing complex, says architects studio Architekten Cie, is to contribute to ‘happy aging’ by creating new forms of living in which people can lead a fun, active, healthy and meaningful life for longer.

Some 50 of the apartments will be rent controlled, and a further 50 will be mid-market, with a rent of between €750 and €1,200.

‘Once children have left home, many people start a new phase in their lives,’ Utrecht’s planning chief Klaas Verschuure said. ‘The people who come to live in Legends may well leave a home which a young couple can move into… this is how we get the housing market moving.’

The complex, which is virtually energy neutral, uses sloping paths, stairs, galleries and bridges to create differences in height and encourage movement, and the apartments surround a private garden for all residents.

The apartments can also be adapted in line with people’s care needs as they get older, Dura Vermeer said.