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 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 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.
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.
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.
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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.