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IMPROVEYOURMOVEMENT Daniel Fuchs Berend Venema


Daniel Fuchs Berend Venema


architectural intervention

birdseye masterplan from N-E

Improve your movement Sport and leisure are strongly related to movement. Through movement your surroundings are perceived in a different way. When is movement traffic, and when is it sport? Can it be both things at the same time? These questions fascinated us and inspired us to look into different kinds of movement and activating movement as a design tool. The site provides a strong motivation to implement and augment these ideas of movement.The elevated train-tracks and the inland harbour canal represent different types of movement and have provided us a grid to work with. Our plan intends to respond to these existing structures and to reveal the beauty of these usually neglected streams. The brief is to transform a former inland shipping harbor, which has been closed down in the sixties and become slightly neglected ever since. It is our intention to preserve some of the history and feel of this industrial place. We plan to achieve this by renovating two existing buildings and signing them with new service functions, each connected to an outdoor public space. Furthermore the scale of the quay, spacious enough for the unloading of ships, is incorporated and reproduced. Finally we lay out an axis, connecting the two old buildings and the two old loading cranes, still in existence.

masterplan Laakhaven


The angle of the grid makes it possible to connect the plan with the water and make the water a prime attractor. Furthermore, we have identified an important axis along the water which acts as a wide urban boulevard, streching for 2 km. into the city centre. Currently, this axis disintegrates at the study site into urban inconsistencies. We intend to finish this boulevard by reacting to the opposing buildings through scale and rhythm, a scale that reaches al the way along this canal into the city. On the location where this boulevard ends, an architectural gem is intended to crown and properly finish this urban route.This is where we planned our architectural intervention.

pedestrian route

1. main movements

2. corresponding grid

This building has to be on the spot where the water makes a 90 degree turn under the tracks and the long view of the boulevard consequently ends. This is the climax where all movements come together: the boats on the water, the trains

3. heritage + boulevard

4. functions + building masses

on the tracks, the bikes and the cars. The building we propose reflects and intesifies these movements. The ultimate translation of movement has to be the swimmingpool. It is the single element that dictates, and simultaneously is dictated by its use, as Koolhaas has revealed us in his Villa d’Alva. The swimming pool is capable of tying the required sports program into the scheme, but is also a reflection of desires and different paces of movement.

elevated park adjacent train tracks

circulation + parking

public / private



end of boulevard - view from bridge

front elevation

long section







entrance level (5th floor) plan

The building is only 8.5 meters wide. This was a precondition to connect the two sides of the building (Laakhaven en Schilderswijk) to each other. Rather then a solid mass, the building now becomes a transparent screen.

section A-A

section B-B

section C-C

Circulation is the element of the building directly connected to movement. It has been thoroughly transformed into a complex system of stairs, ramps, corridors, galleries, travelators, escalators and elevators. No possibility is left unexploited, even ladders are used. The dynamics and the public charachter of the building reflect high density urban living. If you wish, there ought to be activity around you, day and night. The building houses a diverse mix of dwellings, from lofts and duplexes to triplexes and a penthouse. The only precondition is that you have to love the city buzz. The public swimming-pool turns private after eight, and that is when you have your very own pool connected to your city appartment. You have the option to use it privately, or to get in contact with your fellow dwellers.




The construction is made with a variation of concrete floors on a grid based column system. Two cores provide for lateral stability. Because the building is so narrow and circulation space is limited, they have to be placed parallel to the facade.

On the lower levels (black), cars pass through the building and acces the underground parking space. Higher up (grey), pedestrians and bikes enter the building into a public passage. From here the poolsystem can be experienced and entered (after paying and changing). Travelators and escalators distribute the different streams of people throughout the building. From small plaza’s, connected to the vertical systems, the galleries turn private (blue). These occur every three floors.

units 5 x loft 24 x duplex 12 x studio 3 x triplex 1 x penthouse

bar restaurant fitness poolsystem


The poolsystem is largely connected (except for a couple of private pools) but forms an individual circulation system. Once inside, walking is no longer an option. You have to either swim, climb ladders, dive or take the slide.This system doubles as a fire escape route. From 11am to 8 pm the pools are public. All other times are private.

Besides the pool, a bar/restaurant, a boathouse and a gym, the building incorporates 44 dwelling units. These units are made up out of 5 different urban dwelling typologies and each one of these is somehow directly related to a pool.


floorplan entrance level

floorplan pool level

acces to gallery


type: duplex, entrance downstairs

typical plan The duplex is the most common type in this design. The kitchen, dining room and living are connected to the pool in an extreme manner. The ceiling of this space continues outside over the pool and rests on columns that submerge in the water that has an infinity edge. With that, the pool becomes one within the space and the city beyond. The building is so narrow that a linear pool and gallery do not fit on the same level. That has resulted in entrances (duplexes) that do not directly connect to the public functions within the house. They are situated a level higher or lower, where equally the bedrooms and bathrooms can be found. The separation between public and private is achieved through floor cutaways or drops in the ceiling height. The plan is laid out so that, upon entering, your view is instantly directed to the water and your body can directly follow your view, up or down the stairs. Because the facade is partially covered with steel perforated paneling, the bathroom can be placed facing outwards. While views from the outside are blocked, you can enjoy your shower or bath while overlooking the city.

floorplan entrance level

section type: duplex, entrance upstairs

floorplan pool level


living +

Improve Your Movement  

Dwelling design by Daniel Fuchs and Berend Venema - 2008 TuDelft

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