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.
Material Design Research
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.
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.
Experimental construction with modular low emission concrete
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.
Hoffmanni 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.