The design of the municipal building and the Port Gitana hotel plays on the tension between the specific context of Lake Geneva and the universal force of globalization and standardization. This is reflected in the distinction between the ground floor and the upper floors.
The public base of the building is characterized by expressive natural stones in solid granite which are extracted in rough blocks from local quarries. The oversized stones refer to the rocks that can be found in Lake Geneva and form a specific understanding of time and scale. By manufacturing the blocks in different ways (breakage, sawing, polishing), the elements inside and outside provide different impressions and atmospheres.
The upper floors are conceptually understood as the universal part of the program with clients of international hotels, meeting rooms and sustainability measures. This part of the building is executed with precast concrete elements in a generic grid structure. The architectural tension between the base and the upper layer thus symbolizes the position of our contemporary culture which always consists of place-specific and universal influences.
TITLE: Communal building and Hotel
LOCATION: Bellvue - CH
STATUS: Competition entry
Collaboration: Werf en Nass engineers
An assignment to build a carport was re-envisioned as an opportunity to improve the garden of a 18th century villa. The massing seeks to be invisible from the street which is protected under stringent Dutch heritage laws, while seeking to maximize impact in the garden, which was only begin used partially.
The pergola is built around various existing trees creating an interplay between the rigid metal frame and the bent tree trunks. The construction is set into various extruded planes made from rough fired bricks thereby creating a strong contrast between the slender steel tectonic and the heavy brick foundations.
TITLE: Garden house
STATUS: Under construction
In collaboration with: Vormm, Castermans engineers
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.
TITLE: Luikerweg viewpoint and stairs
PROGRAM: Viewing point and stairs
LOCATION: Maastricht, The Netherlands
CLIENT: Stichting Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij ENCi gebied
In the Swiss canton of Wallis a special breed of cattle, the Eringer cow, seasonally migrates between alpine meadows and the Rhone Valley grasslands. Before the journey, the cows challenge each other and fight to become the leader of the migrating herd. For centuries regional farmers, famous for their strong and ingenious tradition in common resource sharing, have cultivated these fights in so-called Stechfests. The Goler Arena aspires to become the center of this regional tradition.
The program seeks to combine the arena with an agrarian market hall that can house a variety of activities, such as fairs, meetings, exhibitions, and other seasonal festivities. In intensity, seasonality, and program this dynamic usage formed the departure point for the design that accommodates such diversity. The perimeter of the plot is surrounded by a double row of trees in order to create an interior space that blocks traffic noise and emphasizes the surrounding mountains. The arena is integrated into the topography using residual rocks and rubble from the many tunnels leading to the Rhone valley. During cow fights the resulting park landscape facilitates social interaction between farmers, visitors, and cows. When no festivities are planned it functions as a public park.
TITLE: Goler Arena & market Hall
LOCATION: Raron, Switzerland
STATUS: 3rd place
The site is located next to a pond that is used for a variety of recreational purposes. The client needed space for storage and other supporting services, but did not want a building on site.
Starting as a thin wall, the volume widens in the middle where spaces are excavated in the interior. The form aligns with old pathways and creates a new spatial arrangement that allows the client to manage public access to the pond.
The construction is made out of an experimental mixture of local clay, limestone and cement, and is rammed in layers. The effect is a horizontally layered monolith that strongly relates to the geological backdrop while maintaining a clear architectural form.
TITLE: Landscape Monolith
STATUS: Design Study