Our office was asked bij the Leiden University to see how the identity and spatial quality of the Leiden Bioscience Park (LBSP) could be improved to better reflect the ambitions of its companies and institutions. The current park lacks legibility and intimate spaces. The question was to strengthen the existing master plan through small strategic spatial interventions.
A series of proposals were presented in a series of interviews with leading researchers, entrepreneurs and policy makers active at the LBSP. The design proposals were subsequently fine-tuned based on a precise understanding of the inner working of the users of the bioscience park.
The final proposal were designed to facilitate public private partnerships and improve collaboration between companies, which is currently lacking. Realization of the project was planned to coincide with Leiden’s bid for the European City of Science.
In collaboration with : Van Hattum en Blankevoort
The Circular Concrete Pavilion is an experimental construction project that seeks to better understand and communicate strategies to make the concrete industry more sustainable. The project explores the tectonic implications of new recycling techniques, modularity, and co2 reducing binders. The project was conceived in collaboration with van Hattum Blankevoort one the Netherlands largest infrastructure contractors. The project is planned in the Green Village at the Delft University of Technology and is will then travel, thereby revealing the prospects of modular infrastructure.
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.
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.
In collaboration with: Vormm, Castermans engineers
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 Creatieve Industries Fund NL is one of the most important institutions in the Netherlands for the arts and creative industries. Through the fund many aspiring designers from different fields are able to launch their first ideas. As such it is a crucial link in a societal ecosystem that allows new ideas to emerge.
Our design for the Creative Fund Office consists of three layers that provide space to the institutions' three central activities. First there is the entrance hall which is designed as a representative foyer. Here, guests are received, projects are displayed and the chance of coincidental disciplinary interactions are facilitated. A large moving curtain indicaties different types of occasions from more the public to more work oriented.
The second layer is focussed around group work, meetings and presentations in reconfigurable rooms with folding walls.
The last layer consists of spaces for individual concentration. Where staff members can retreat and carefully evaluate the many proposals they have to proces.
The design furthermore emphasizes the characteristic concrete brise-soleil facade of the monumental Groothandels gebouw through opening the adjacent space and moving the program inward. The design will be executed in winter of 2019.
The Euroregion derailed, is an exhibition that looks at cross-border urbanization and rail development in the Meuse valley between Liège and Maastricht.
In 2018 a three-country rail network was expected to be operational, between Aachen, Liège and Maastricht, but the Belgian-Dutch connection is still falling behind. Is this a sign of failing political cooperation or are it really just technical problems that can be solved? What does the rail connection actually have to offer for Liège, Maastricht and the border region between them?Are interests aligned, and is there consensus about what the transnational connection should promote? Can innovations in mobility and logistics lead to more compact cities? Or do they accelerate suburbanization in the Maas valley?
Through contributions from various architects, students, photographers, sociologists and civil servants these questions for the border region where examined and discussed during the opening conference.
The last decades a single architectural typology has dominated the world more than any other: the big-box. While first theorized as the representational question of the ‘decorated shed’, the proliferation of anonymous utilitarian boxes demands a broader perspective. While in larger countries the amount of available land makes big-boxes less intrusive, in the Netherlands big-boxes quickly create an unmistakeable mark one the landscape. This proces, coined ‘Verdozing’, pits two of the Dutch most valued identities against each other: Trade vs ‘Polder’. While some argue that big-boxes are simply the result of the Netherlands’ successful reorientation towards a global economy that is dependent on the seamless integration of international infrastructures. Others lament the destruction of the flat polder lands, which are not only the result of the globally renown waterwork and land-reclamation projects, but are also hot-wired with the Dutch political sensibility of collaboration and compromise.
Our research, commissioned by the College of State Advisors, seeks to first understand the proces of verdozing at various scales from the regional to the architectural and clarify the underlying forces and actors behind their construction. Based on this research, 7 design strategies have been developed that seek to deal with the generic boxes in a more specific approach that is better tailored to the Dutch social and spatial condition. Our findings will be published in the end of 2019.
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.
The development of mobility has a direct and indirect influence on the build environment and vice versa. The formation of urban agglomeration and multi city center urban structures are both cause and result of the rail and road network. Railway station areas are important spacial and economic nodes within these dynamic structures. The mobility landscape is continuously in change. In recent decennia the traditional role of a public transport node is slowly but steadily changing to the role of a general mobility node. As consequence of this transition, its relationship to the urban environment needs to be redefined.
In commission of the college van rijksadviseurs and in collaboration with the province of Limburg and the municipality of Eijsden-Margraten we have researched by the means of design research the possibilities of a train station in an urban periphery in the boarder area of the province of Zuid-Limburg. Here two scenario's have been put forth in which the consequences of preservation en closure of the station by the year of 2040 have been researched and questioned. This research was conducted in context of a regional urban analysis on the impact of cross-boarder mobility, by the means of a tri-country train connection, which will bind Liège (L), Maastricht (NL) and Aachen (D) in the future.
Formations is an ongoing design research into a type of sandstone, called mergel, that is found in the South of the Netherlands. For centuries is was used for masonry construction until it became a raw material for cement production. Today only one artisinal quarry remains open and is used predominantly for restaurantion works. Mergel is rarely, if ever, used in a more reflective contemporary manner. In collaboration with Fer Rouwet, the oldest active miner of mergel we’ve been seeking to reappraise mergel as a construction material in its own right,.
The proposal envisions a network of above ground pavilions that demarcates the underground territory of the geological formation where mergel is excavated: the Maastrichtiën . The design seeks to emphasise the spatial qualities of the underground mines and specific material qualities of mergel.
The Prix de Rome is the oldest and most prestigious award in the Netherlands for visual artists under the age of 40 and architects under the age of 35. The award dates back to 1808 when Louis Napoleon introduced the Prix de Rome in the Netherlands to promote the arts. Although the award adopted various guises over the years, the aim has always been to trace talented artists and promote their further development and visibility. Since January 2013, the organisation and funding of the award is handled by the Mondriaan Fund. The Fund does so with due respect for the Prix de Rome’s long history and with the express wish to guarantee its status as an independent award.
Organized by: Het Mondriaan FondsDOWNLOAD PDF BOOKLET
Proximity Analysis - Education
Proximity Analysis - Amenities
Tacloban was hit by a devastating hurricane in 2014. In the aftermath a decision was made to develop the north of the city and to relocate vulnerable households further from the coastline. The displacement of vulnerable communities, however, has time and time again been shown to create more problems than it solves.
Our office was part of the United Nations Urban Lab team that was asked to assist the municipality of Tacloban with the development of a climate change adaptation growth strategy. This was meant to incorporate the remnants of the original relocation sites in the North into a comprehensive urban plan.
The proposal is based on a 3-tiered approach. First it aims to stimulate growth in safe areas through the strategic investment in public road, water and sewage infrastructures. Second, the plan clusters amenities and educational facilities around well connected and safe intersections. Last, a clear drainage network will double as public space and environmental reserve, but also functions as a buffer during floods and storm surges.
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
Our proposal speculates about a territorial project that seeks to reclaim control over the urban condition through The state of exception.
Our proposal explores the possibility of co-opting this concept in spatial terms as a mechanism to achieve spatial aspirations that otherwise appear unattainable in our urban world.
States of exception are spaces where the status quo of law, economics, spatial planning and building code are temporarily suspended or modified to investigate how specific societal goals could materialize. As such, states of exception are immaterial interventions that nonetheless have large spatial and material consequences.
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.
Exploitation Landscapes is an investigation into the constantly changing relationship between man and nature. Plaster cast reliefs explore this apparent dichotomy through traces found in the ENCI quarry in Maastricht. The reliefs show traces of geological, industrial and ecological processes that have inspired a century of public debate.
To produce the serie a mix of analogue and digital fabrication techniques were combined: CNC-milled base reliefs were made from pointcloud scans and satellite data while other traces where taken in situ with silicone. After its first exposition in Bureau Europa in 2016, a second exposition was held in 2017 in the Dominican church in Maastricht.
Hoffmannii is a multi-functional building that combines a restaurant, exhibition space, and offices. The building is positioned at the intersection of an abandoned industrial site and a natural reserve.
The building is a combination of a classical floor plan and a modern industrial section, which aims at providing organisational clarity, flexibility in use, and optimized daylight entry. The mono-pitch structure is completely built and cladded in wood. The overal form, which is typically associated with industry, here creates a tension between the past and the future of its surroundings: an industrial site and a nature reserve.
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.
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NAP is a photo- and cartographic investigation into the norm of Amsterdam’s housing stock. Our fascination was propelled by the apparent reluctance of our generation to deal with a notion that is both statistically inescapable and urgent with respect to the challenge of affordable middle class housing. Ultimately, raising the qualitative norm of housing provides better for housing for most people.
Why has the norm become such a difficult topic? Why is it implicitly relegated to unnamed 2nd-tier colleagues, or to other professions entirely? Why do we glorify the collaborative approach of the Amsterdamse Stijl but remain incapable, or reluctant, to work together with such deliberation?
This project investigates the norm through mapping parts of the city that were entirely built in one decade and consist of repetitive housing units built in close proximity. Through site visits and photography we sought to capture the guiding principles, aspirations and ideologies of that period. The series clearly reveals certain continuities and ruptures during the last century and seeks to establish a more self-conscious and reflective discourse about the implicit contemporary norms that we apparently find so difficult to acknowledge.