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In this portfolio I will show key academic projects, finished over the past three years. These projects vary from large, regional strategies to small scale interventions. It will give an insight in the skills I have acquired as a designer, as well as my competence with different computer programs. I have finished the bachelor program Architecture, Building and Planning in 2010. In my second and third year the course I followed focused on Architecture and Urbanism. I also did a minor in Architectural Detailing. At this moment I have completed the first year of the master program of Urbanism at the University of Technology in Delft. As I am not yet sure which graduation studio I would like to follow in the final year of my master program, experience at a professional firm would be very useful. Currently I am looking for an internship to orient myself on the profession that I will practice in the future.


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The main goal of this quarter project was to derive a spatial strategy for the greater region of the Haarlemmermeer. At this level global impact is visible and sensible, in terms of urbanization, economic powers and environmental impact. This results in the inability to fully control the region or metropolis meant that this regional design was more about steering developments in the right direction. The infrastructure is a strong axis within this scheme. The area is divided in different scenes, from local importance in the South West, to international importance in the North East. All these scenes are aligned along the railway axis. From the railway outwards the density of the area fades out, illustrating that the focus point of these areas lie at the highway and railway. All these scenes have a different strength that they contribute to the bigger Haarlemmermeer region. In that way the rhythm of different areas is best experienced. In my individual design I have focused on the vacancy of office districts. Following our group strategy, I have developed a scheme that all these different office districts, from small estates in Nieuw Vennep, to the international hub of Schiphol, would cooperate instead of compete.


>>> FACTS & FIGURES Program: net transformation urban area

42,2

ha.

residential

5,2

ha.

commercial

20,1

ha.

re-used offices

8,8

ha.

landscape mixed 12

ha.

water

ha.

2

houses

Onehundred

jobs

Flexible amount

Stakeholders involved: Municipality Haarlemmermeer Municipality Hillegom NS real estate FOX Vacations Aimed effect: Revive the local economy of Nieuw Vennep by regenerating office districts, making them cooperating instead of competing.


Office parks provide the Netherlands with 35% of its Gross National Product on only 4% of the total land surface of the country. They are important for the Dutch economy. Almost one in every five inhabitants works on such a office area. Then why are these working environments of such poor quality? In the recession we are in now, I see the opportunity to change and improve the quality of office areas in Nieuw Vennep and surroundings. By relocating business to well accessible plots, reusing vacant land for different purposes, and creating a pleasant work environment in the vicinity of the center and the train station, the local economy can be strengthened. I believe that, by giving a office district a strong character, connecting it with its location, and making it good accessible, an office area can become more than a concrete slap on the periphery of a city. This office area will be a stepping stone for starting companies, and there for flexible in use and costs . Abandoned warehouses will be transformed with public facilities that will be shared, making them flexible and cheap in use.


  

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This project was organized by the chair of Urban Design in Delft, assisted by Geomatics (Research Institute OTB) and the Fieldacademy in Rotterdam. The focus of this projects was to develop analysis techniques in the field of people movement, pedestrian flow, and public space. It uses state of the art analyses techniques such as pattern analyses and spatial research by GPS and GSM tracking, and combines this behavior with cultural habits and the cultural meaning of public space. By combining field work, data collection, urban analysis, questionnaire data, and literature study we analyzed the city, designed interventions and presented recommendations to the municipality of Rotterdam.

       

 



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By using the data of more than 600 participants to analyze 5 different aspects: Diversity of function, Appreciation, Density, Spatial quality and Connectivity provides the group a clear task for the next step of designing. We aimed to choose clusters which have potentials and would contribute a lot for the whole structure of Rotterdam city center. It can be seen on the density map that based on the movement behavior of the participants, the densest route is Korte Lijnbaan – Lijnbaan – Hoogstraat – Binnentotte, main shopping street in Rotterdam center. Despite of upgrading the entire structure, we concentrate on this route, create new public spaces and upgrading low quality ones. This will result in destinations that would meet the requirements of users, guide pedestrians to better experiences, improve sub-destinations indirectly and create a unique environment for Rotterdam center.


The crossing of the Binnenrotte and the Meent is the furthest destination people visited from the analyzed parking garages. People watching plays an important role in making this destination attractive to stay. This is, according to J. Gehl, one of the most important people attractors and these conditions make the destination an overall enjoyable place to be. The feedback from the questionnaires however gives us insight in what could be improved here 1. The first condition to attend to is concentrating people where the actions is. People enjoy being around each other and this could be achieved on the Binnenrotte by focusing sitting elements at the new Markthal, and the intervention area, the crossing with the Meent. 2. Zooming in on the crossing of the Meent and the Binnenrotte we see a chaotic traffic situation. The conflict points between car and pedestrian create a situation where people would rather cross fast, than stay a while. By using a part of the parking area as a pedestrian area, passersby and people who want to stay have more space. I also believe that by moving the pedestrian crossing more to the south the pedestrian flows would


also promote contact. To persuade people to stay here, pleasant physiological conditions should be met. This means that people should have the change to sit in the sun, out of the wind, and near the action. By creating a public resting place on the north side of the square, the shadow of the southern buildings would not block out the sun. The windscreen around these public spaces would also contribute to a more attractive environment. There is a bit more room for the private terraces located around the square, this will also attract people. 4. To increase the legibility new pavement is used on the Binnenrotte to guide visitors to the Meent. The lighting will accompany this route, making it more safe at night. Looking from the Meent the sitting elements peak around the corner. This can make people curious and persuade people to walk a bit further to this newly designed area.


This project focuses on the scale of the city, and challenged us as urbanists to interpret and tackle its unique problems. The love/hate relationship Den Helder has with the sea provides an unique opportunity to create innovate design solutions for the future defense of the coast. In cooperation with the Studio Coastal Quality, an attractive, as well as realistic solution was created. The city has developed itself as an important marine city. The population however, is declining. In the masterplan these changing conditions where our main focus points. We believed that a shift from marine to offshore harbor was crucial. The interaction between the city and its harbor has always been important for Den Helder and has shaped the image of the city. The position of Den Helder on the ‘energybelt’ in the Northsea is ideal for an offshore harbor. By changing the focus of the harbor and letting Den Helder propagate this offshore image the city will get the chance to grow and to be put back on the map. This could in its turn the decline and aging population around into a thriving offshore community. This means that the harbor needs space to grow, the new employees need housing and the city should show its new identity. To keep the city safe against the changing weather, the water defenses should also be renewed. We combined water safety with water quality by using soft defenses such as dunes where possible.


My individual project mainly focuses on combining new housing with the need for a sustainable coastal defence. By designing this part of the route Den Helder will reveal its identity, at the edge of the city and the harbor. The district consists of separate sections, each of which will have its own density, connection with the water, and atmospheres. By creating a ‘catalogue’ of different design conditions a varied living environment with these conditions can be met. My opinion is that this unique position in Den Helder sould be emphasized . The design should emphasize the transition, between city - harbor, and Willemsoord - dwellings. The interaction between Den Helder and its harbor has always been important and has shaped the city. A problem is that the activity in the harbor can be seen nowhere. By replacing large scale warehouses with lower houses the visual connection between city and harbor is restored. The physical connections between harbor and city is added by using the dike as an access road for both maritime and local traffic.


Water is the main quality of the area. So this is the main focus point for the dwellings in the district. In the district the main concept is to Work / Live / Play with the water, meaning that all the activities have a strong relation with the water that they are near to. Living with water will be facilitated by dwellings in, on, or next to the water. Working with the water means that all the industry is harbor related program. Playing with the water means that the main public space should have strong connections with the water. The connections between the dwellings and the water will all be made through different urban patterns. The type of urban pattern will depend on the position in the district. The immense variation provided with the design catalogue will ensure that monotonous living areas will be out of the question. On the south side of the district the dwellings will be organized along the bank, making a dense ribbon of buildings. The rest of the district will be organized on a spit and on jetties. Both are narrow strips giving a very private impression. The water can be glimpsed between the buildings while the transitions from the dwellings to the water is often formed by gardens. On the more urban spits in the northern part the entire plot is build up with open water in the middle. On all these spits and jetties there will be a pedestrian path along the coast, own parking facilities and an access road.


Team members & specialization Bram Willemse

Urbanist

Ruud van Gool

Architecture

DaniĂŤl Hurulean Architecture Bart ChĂśmpff

Detailling

Sebas Smits

Real estate

Frank Schijns

Construction

Freek van Lier

Management

The graduation project from the University of Technology in Eindhoven consists of a multidisciplinary team that together, had to develop a design. The goal in my graduation year was to design a hotel/student housing in the inner city of Rotterdam using an integrated approach. The team in which we worked in consisted out of seven students with varied specialism, with myself, trained as an urbanist. This final product we delivered consisted out of a thorough analysis of both surrounding and market, a design of building and public space, a construction plan, building site management plan, and the total costs and revenues. This six month project taught me to take other interests into account, communicate and collectively, come to a complete design.  


In the hectic and diverse environment in the center of Rotterdam an important aspect of the design was the embedding of the building into its surroundings. To ensure a pleasant walking environment the physical conditions, such as wind and the feeling of shelter are met by separating the first three floors with the high-rise. This lower part will follow the building line of the surrounding low-rise. The connection between East and West Rotterdam has become somewhat problematic due to the intensity of traffic on the Kruisplein. By widening the pedestrian area both the physical and visual connection is strengthened. The high-rise will be added on the west side of the building, this will not prevent sun onto the square. This high-rise is then aligned with the other high-rise in the surrounding, such as the Codart building. The layout of the tower revolve around the skycourts. These skycourts are communal areas which the interaction between inhabitants will mostly take place. Both the hotel area of the building and the student housing will have skycourts. The skycourts in the student area will facilitate the shared kitchen and sitting area. The collective use of these courts will be important to stimulate interaction between students living around this public space. This will ensure a pleasant living environment and a feeling of ownership of that skycourt. In the hotel these courts will have a different layout, and will mostly be used as place to sit and enjoy the view over the city of Rotterdam.


 



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In addition to the collective design of the building, each of us had an own design project corresponding to your specialism. As my interest lies in the design and use of public space, I have made a redesign of the Schouwburgplein. The design of public space is based on three topics, identity, use, and accessibility. This square in the heart of Rotterdam is used by both visitors and inhabitants. Therefore I believe that the square should represent the city of Rotterdam entirely. By slightly tilting the square the lower area can be used as a basin to buffer rainwater in, this will contribute to the water management challenges Rotterdam faces. As far as identity goes, one of the most significant events is the bombardment of the city during World War 2. To illustrate what once stood here, the old parcellation of the building before the bombardment is used as structuring element. The old structure will remind visitors of the turbulent past Rotterdam has faced. These heightened elements will be used to sit on and to differentiate the large area.


The bachelors program at the University of Technology in Eindhoven strongly focused on the use of models as a design tool. The models I have made differ in scale from 1:10.000 to 1:5. Materials used vary from cardboard to laser engraved and cut wood.


Portfolio of Bram Willemse  
Portfolio of Bram Willemse  

A small selection of projects I have worked on during my education at the Universities of Eindhoven and Delft

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