Client: ENCI Heidelberg
A public connection between an industrial site and a natural reserve emphasizes many of the pressing questions we face today. The design juxtaposes ongoing industrial processes (material depots, energy production, logistical flows) and ecological processes (succesion, growing biodiversity, hydrology, seasons) that are flourishing in reclaimed parts of the brownfield. The design consist of linear bands that intentionally puts these two traditionally antagonistic land uses in close proximity to represent a movement towards a closer union between man and nature.
After the park opens to the public, a visitors will never visit the same park, as it the bands keep changing according to the rhythms of both ecology and industry.
Duet is a bridge designed in collaboration with van Hattum Blankevoort. It is the first implementation of a modular bridge system that has been in development for three year. The blocks can be totally disassembled and reused.
The challenge of the design was to implement the generic orthogonal system within a curved path of the bridge and other site specific conditions.
The design furthermore uses recycled concrete for the heavier vehicular bridge and wood for the pedestrian bridge. In this way a smart allocation of materials was used according to different uses and weight loads. Additionally, the guide rail for boats was designed to have the double function as a public deck which provides recreational access to the waterfront.
In collaboration with : van HattumBlankvoort
The Luikerweg staircase is a milestone in the gradual transformation and reclamation of the first and only cement quarry in the Netherlands. In 2017, after more than a hundred years of excavation, the quarry was made accessible to the public and will be managed as a natural reserve.
The design forms a scenic route that starts on the plateau of Mount St. Pieter and gradually reveals the quarry, which has been coined a hidden valley. Two concrete walls guide the visitors through a boundary of vegetation and lead up to a panoramic viewpoint. Here a sublime man-made landscape is revealed, with steep cliffs that are unique and unexpected in the otherwise flat landscape of the Netherlands.
The stairs then descend 50m down into the quarry, forming a geological route. Resting stops are subtly aligned with stratigraphical transitions marking major geological events in the history of the earth. The platform is symbolically aligned with the old road that used to connect Maastricht to Liège: the Luikerweg. When the reclamation is completed the connection between the Netherlands and Belgium will also be restored.
Water has a paradoxical relation to place: water is at once defined by each place through which it flows through absorption, while simultaneously defining these places through erosion. Water, as such, links each place to geology, ecology and a larger sense of physical geography.
The design for a drinking fountain stresses the geographic relationship through referencing the unique geological formation underneath each fountain. These soil sections are then mixed with concrete and poured into a uniform mold. The fountains are then distributed throughout a watershed, thereby creating a poetic connection between the geologic particularity of each place and the larger hydrologic region.
After a century of industrial excavation a 100 hectare sandstone quarry will be transformed into a natural reserve and a public recreational landscape. “Reconciling the irreconcilable” became the motto under which an unusual collaboration between a multinational industry, a national nature preservation society, a neighbourhood association, the province and the municipality was forged. They agreed to collaborate in the creation of a unique environment where human and natural developments thrive alongside. Our office has been involved since the very beginning of this process. First, in helping the parties imagine the spatial possibilities of their collaboration. Later, in the realisation of these possibilities through design and construction.
After completion the quarry will consist of three zones: the quarry wil become a public landscape park; the former factory will transform into an innovation campus for concrete production; in between these two a transition zone will be built where these two opposing worlds intersect. The design for the transition zone is inspired by techniques, elements and textures found in the quarry: industrial excavators, heaps of residual flint rock and creeks formed by groundwater seepage. The use of drones allowed for the planning of precise excavations, which were executed in the last years of industrial exploitation. The designed micro-topography forms: pathways that stage views and emphasize unique geological events and spatial effects; a drainage network that doubles as a source for heating and cooling; unique orientation to different plots for future development.
In collaboration with: Stichting Ontwikkelings Maatschappij ENCI gebied, Natuurmonumenten, ENCI Heidelberg AG, Nelen Schuurmans, Janssen Group, van deKreeke Bouw, Royal Haskoning DHV, Deerns Consultants
Business parks reveal the consequences of development that is guided by the relentless optimization of consumption and production processes. As such they hold a mirror to our globalized society and challenge many of our long-cherished conceptions of city and landscape. Nonetheless, or because of this, the topic is structurally dismissed in the debate among architects and urbanists.
This design research was commissioned by the Board of Government Advisors and the province of South Holland. The question was to look at business parks from a regional perspective. Instead of approaching the assignment as an aesthetic issue, we focussed on the underlying systems and mechanisms that determine the establishment of business parks, namely: environmental zoning, land speculation, and regional infrastructure.
Our proposal explores the opportunities of re-using the old waterways that formed the backbone of regional commerce in the past. "City Ports" are proposed as transfer hubs strategically positioned in between the massive logistic landscape of the port of Rotterdam and future cities where clean industries and housing could co-exist once again. This proposal thus establishes a regional basis for an urban and architectural task that seeks to gain control over the proliferation of business parks and to reintegrate parts of the peripheral economy into the urban environment.
The project Amsterdecks consists of a network of water quality measuring decks in the metropolitan region of Amsterdam. The proposal was initiated by our office after observing the increase and diversification of urban water use in Amsterdam. Our observation confirmed that a large gap exists between how public water is used and public knowledge about its quality.
Through a specially developed measuring system Amsterdecks gives an indication of the water quality and provides safe access to the water. Through an online application people will be able to get information about the fluctuating water quality in Amsterdam.
Ultimately, people will learn how Amsterdam’s water quality is influenced and how it can be improved. The decks in that sense form a liquid commons, stimulating individual and collective actions that could improve the quality of one of our most important shared resources.