Page 1

POr tfO l iO Nicolaas Van Orshoven















14 50



Nicolaas Van Orshoven Belgian

March 18th 1991, Leuven, Belgium

nicovanorshoven@gmail.com +32 475 23 64 53 Roeselbergdal 43, 3012 Wilsele, Belgium http://issuu.com/nicolaasvanorshoven


Photoshop InDesign Illustrator Vectorworks Autocad

SketchUp Artlantis Studio Kerkythea Microsoft Office Apple iWork

Adobe Premiere Mac OSX Windows Model making Fablab


EDUCATION 2013 - 2014

Master of Science in Engineering Science: Architecture [option urban project] Departement of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning (ASRO) University of Leuven, Belgium (KU Leuven) Graduation: September 2014 (magna cum laude) Master thesis: Dealing with Unresolved Water Cycles in the Expanding City: An Urban Design Investigation on Maputo, Mozambique Promotors: Bruno De Meulder, Wim Wambecq

2012 - 2013

Master of Science in Engineering Science: Architecture [option urban project] Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura (ETSA) Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain (UPV) One year Erasmus exchange as a part of my masters at KU Leuven

2009 - 2012

Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science: Architecture Departement of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning (ASRO) University of Leuven, Belgium (KU Leuven) Graduation: September 2012 (cum fructu)

2003 - 2009

ASO Sciences - Mathematics Highschool Degree Montfortcollege Rotselaar, Belgium (MCR)


foot ball

nat geo

snow board

ted talks


hitch hiking

photo graphy



video graphy

couch surfing


Philippines I Thailand I Laos I Vietnam


Hitchhiked 10.000km through Europe: Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, France & Spain http://everywhereinparticular.com Morocco I Mozambique I South Africa I Swaziland I Spain


Valencia I Barcelona I Alicante I Zaragozza


Iran I Berlin I Turin I London I Paris I Prague




Turkey, Czech Republic















Volunteer in the STEP program for ngo Cabiokid in the Philippines [group leader] Two-month immersion in the principles of permaculture and sustainable architecture with bamboo. Design and execution of several small-scale projects in cooperation with local partners


One week architectural workshop (Athens exchange programme) ‘From urban to human scale: learning from the Lisbon renovation experience’ Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa (IST)


Master thesis field work in Maputo, Mozambique Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM)





Coworker of Unité, architectural magazine of EXISTENZ vzw


Intensive Language Course: Spanish, CLT Leuven


EILC Erasmus Intensive Language Course: Catalan, Universitat de València



AWARDS 2013 mar

2nd price Universitat Politècnica de València student design competition


PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven, Laura Ysenbaardt [BE] DATE fieldwork: august - october 2013 [2 months] thesis: october 2013 - june 2014 [8 months] LOCATION Maputo, Moçambique MENTORS Bruno De Meulder, Wim Wambecq TYPE landscape urbanism SCALE extra large TRIVIA Thesis exhibited and presented at World Urbanisms Seminar [june 2014] 6

DESCRIPTION How to deal with the landscape in a vibrant, modern African capital? How can landscape structures act as regulators to improve urban living conditions? The constantly evolving city of Maputo is and has always been characterized by contrasts. Contrasts between urbanization and nature, geometry and organicity, ‘European’ and ‘native’ leading to ‘cimento’ and ‘caniço’ during the Portuguese colonisation. The struggle for independence and the following civil war catalyzed an ever increasing opposition between formal and informal, high and low, dense and open, rich and poor, but also stressed the interdependence between them. As the city keeps growing seemingly uncontrollably the balance between these contrasts slowly gets disrupted, leading to an exclusion of a high percentage of the population. To expand in a sustainable way the urban dynamics such as densification and transformation should be guided by infrastructural developments based on the physical specificities of places. The landscape provides valuable information on how urban change can be embedded in its local geography. Our hypothesis is that a reinterpretation of the implicit landscape to make it explicit could guide such transformations to a more sustainable future. Only in this way can the development of the city be uncompromised and can the geographic location restore its original function as raison d’être for the city.

Studio Maputo My thesis partner and I were the first generation of students to form studio Maputo, a master thesis studio that spent two months in Southern Africa in collaboration with OSA, the research group Urbanism and Architecture of the KULeuven. The goal of these two months of intensive research was to study and analyse the city from the point of view of the landscape. Based on the landscape analysis (that constitutes the first booklet) we designed a landscape urbanism project focusing on waterand vegetationstructures. The result, as shown on the left, are 4 volumes, two of which were produced by both authors collectively, after which we each did further research-by-design on either the water or the forest part.


A Geographical History After the first chapter, that situates Maputo in its national and regional context chapter 2 goes into depth describing the climate, topography and geology of the city. These are key elements of the landscape analysis.

Maputo City itself is situated in the plain along the coast, with its colonial center right next to the mouth of the estuary. Throughout history Maputo has coherently matriculated itself in a highly undulating relief. A north-south oriented central sand ridge with an asymmetric slope represents the topographical center of the city. From east to west the landscape rises and falls from the mangrove forests of the Incomati estuary, over the erosive steep eastern flank of the ridge and the gentle western flank with local wet depressions, to the Infulene valley. Further to the west lies the Lebombo mountain range, the border with South Africa. 8

Geographical Context Chapter 3 shows a number of old maps of the city since it was proclaimed as such in 1876.The maps show Maputo’s growth and development in relation to the specific landscape conditions and the various structural plans that were drafted over time. It became clear that the topographically high places were consolidated first because they were safest during the regular cyclones and floods. Low-lying areas and slopes were less attractive and thus informally consolidated by the people without other resources.

Maputopia Chapter 4 describes the current dynamics that dominate the city, from a new ringroad over the colonisation of an enormous area of untouched land to hallucinatory real-estate projects. The government keeps on investing in concentrated megalomaniac prestige projects, while much more urgent substantial investments are needed in the completely neglected slums and peri-urban areas that lack even basic amenities. After looking at the city’s past it was our goal to explore if current and future urban developments still follow the logic of the landscape like before, or if economical factors have changed the relation between city and landscape. 9


Low [6]

Laulane Ferroviario Inhagoia B Mafalala Polana Cimento B

High [5]

Slope [4] Slope [3]

Low [2]

High [1]

Samples In this last chapter we zoom in on 6 areas in the municipality of Maputo. These areas are chosen based on their geographical position; 2 in high urban tissue (Laulane and Polana Cimento B), 2 in low (Mafalala and Magoanine) and 2 on the transition between high and low (Inhagoia B and Ferroviario). Landscape, urban tissue and their often problematic relation are the leitmotifs for the discussion of these samples.

Mafalala Mafalala is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city and consists of very dense informal urban tissue. The bairro is situated close to the colonial center in a local topographical depression and is often subjected to flood events during the wet season. Therefore a concrete drainage system is implemented to canalise redundant stormwater out of the area through a hierarchical system of canals. The outline of the depression is remarkably visible in regard to the vegetation cover: where regular flooding occurs no trees are present within the urban tissue.


Water canals

Depression outline

Ferroviario Ferroviario is a densely populated area with a specific topography, as it mediates between the highest point of the sand ridge and the low-lying floodplain. Two types of urban tissue can be distinguished, a more formal tissue with wide streets situated on the sand ridge, and a more informal tissue situated on the slope between the sand ridge and the ocean. During the floods of february 2000 this area suffered under a lot of precipitation and runoff water from higher areas, resulting in severe problems of landslides and gully erosion on the slope. The main cause of these specific problems is the land use pressure and increasing urbanization by people who don’t have access to safer land.

Formal urban tissue with large plots and streets

Informal urban tissue on the slope

Soil deposits from the gully

The valley, in this case Maputo’s golf course



With a conceptual section through the most expressive areas of the city we eventually formulated our vision about its future. This is based on the specific characteristics of every place in relation to topography, soilconditions, waterand vegetationsystems. The section gives a global image of the dynamics going on in the city that have the potential to redraw it. The sections are read from top (current

situation) to bottom (future) and show the growth of the presented water- and vetationsystems that could restructure the growth of the city in the long term. This section is also the start of the urban design project that we individually developed in volumes 3 and 4. On the next page you can see the part of the section that will be the focal point of my personal investigation of the water situation in Maputo.

Magoanine depression


The Magoanine intradune depression acts like a stormwater catchment basin during cyclone season and thus experiences regular flooding due to a high water table. However, even the lowest, most unfavourable areas are occupied at an increasing rate by the growing population in search of available land and possibilities for small-scale urban agriculture.The gradual implementation of a water draining canal system on the hillslopes can

reconcile between people and landscape. The alteration of the water cycle builds capacity to withstand heavy storms during the wet season while at the same time purifying domestic wastewater during the remainder of the year. Combined with water-related functions such as sanitary blocks, laundry stations, private boreholes and water retention basins the infrastructural intervention enables a symbiotic relation with the water.



DATE february - june 2014 [4 months] LOCATION Maputo, Moçambique MENTORS Bruno De Meulder, Wim Wambecq TYPE urban design / landscape urbanism SCALE extra large TRIVIA Thesis exhibited and presented at World Urbanisms Seminar [june 2014]


DESCRIPTION The wavy Maputo landscape in combination with the rapid urban expansion of the city gives rise to a very context-specific water situation. The safe high places of the city quickly lead to formal consolidation with a corresponding organized water network, while still growing informal tissue fixed itself in the remaining erosive slopes and floodable lower regions, where the contrary is true.These low-lying areas often have to deal with difficult-to-manage seasonal flooding issues, pollution and water shortages that negatively affect the living conditions. On the other hand, these are the places where community identity still exists and where urban agriculture plays a prominent role in the city’s food production. CONCEPT A local depression in the weak western slope of the ridge forms the focus area of a draft proposal that aims to rethink the relationship between water cycle, urban agriculture, tenant and community. Instead of solely following the engineering logic that has proved its advantages and downsides in organizing the water network in other parts of the city, this thesis aims to implement intermediary organizational structures that have the potential to give the depression’s contested space a new future in which symbiotic life with the water becomes natural and productive instead of problematic and obstructive.

Main supply pipes transporting river water to the city

Main drainage canal transporting stormwater away from the city

Life around one of the many small drainage canals in Mafalala

Peri-urban areas



Suburban areas



Colonial center

The collective research tried to accentuate the importance of a thorough consideration of both the limits and intrinsic qualities of the landscape in general when expanding, developing or modifying the city. Looking at the water cycle the same strategy can be applied. People’s relation with water is extremely dependent on the area in which they are settled. In most places in the colonial center running water and flushing toilets are evident. The obviousness of the presence of water makes people forget its true value. The further away from the city centre the less likely it is to be connected to the organized water network and the more people developed a special bond with water or the lack thereof. Since the proclamation of independence few upgrades have been made on the water network. Due to the passive or impotent attitude of the government the inhabitants took measures into their own hands, especially in the field of supply.

90s as a bottom-up movement of self-sufficiency and a groundwater alternative to the formal river supply. Its obvious success due to the primary nature of the product has a clear impact on the neighbourhood structure and community relations. Regarding wastewater drainage few structural measures have been undertaken by anyone recently. Organized systems don’t exist or are in a bad state due to misuse and lack of maintenance.This problem doesn’t affect most people directly and therefore isn’t a high priority for the poor population, even though they will face severe consequences in the long term if the unsustainable situation continues. Finally stormwater has a severe impact on the lives of many people. Floods in the vulnerable informal areas cause environmental, economical and medical problems year after year yet continuing land use pressure still forces people to live in the most affected areas.

A system of privately operated boreholes, known as POPs, ‘popped’ up in the peri-urban areas since the mid

In what follows three different water cycles will be examined based on their geographical occurence.


Water supply FIPAG


of water market (2011)


of water market (2011)


of water market (2011)



100.000 m3/day

Large scale formal centralized river water

current Umbeluzi intake +

100.000 m3/day lost due to leakage and illegal connections

810.000 People served


Household connections




Public standpipes


People served

max Umbeluzi intake

560.000 m3/day

projected demand 2035

of water market (2011)

Small scale informal decentralized groundwater


240.000 m3/day

25.000 m3/day

Current yield (Estimation)


Household connections

80.000 m3/day


Potential yield (Estimation)


Handling wastewater FIPAG


Suburban areas not connected to the drainage canal

Bairros linked to the drainage canal




200.000 m3/day


Peri-urban areas (POP-served)

25.000 m3/day

Current yield (Estimation)


80.000 m3/day

Potential yield (Estimation) GROUND TO GROUND

Coping with stormwater FIPAG


Suburban areas not connected to the drainage canal

Bairros linked to the drainage canal


WTP Infulene

Peri-urban areas




The most problematic water cycle is the one that geographically corresponds with the peri-urban areas, furthest away from the colonial center. Even though water supply is handled surprisingly well given the fact that everything is self-organized, drainage of stormand domestic wastewater is virtually nonexistent. Despite its unsustainable character compromising the living conditions at the moment however a latent but considerable potential for improvement can be discovered. The absence of drainage infrastructure contributes to the disequilibrium between the natural state of the area and the rapidly urbanized




3 km

environment that popped up around it.This unbalance imposes severe consequences for future development and demands a reconsideration of the relation with water. ‘Fixing’ the water cycle and adding the necessary steps to make it sustainable could drastically turn around the contested situation towards a harmonious coexistence with the water instead of the constant struggle against it. A few elementary infrastructural alterations can catalyze a change of attitude of communities facing recurring groundwater pollution and flood problems and turn the landscape into a productive environment for them to benefit from.





Vision on an infrastructural intervention in the depression

WATER STRATEGIES The central sand ridge that acts as the spine of the expanding city also forms the division line for runoff water. In the west the sand ridge slopes down gradually, draining rainwater towards the Infulene valley. A number of topographic intradune depressions aligned with the ridge however act as natural stormwater retention basins along the way, trapping the runoff water for a certain amount of time after which it infiltrates into the ground. Floodproblems regularly occur in the lowest areas due to a high groundwater table during the wet season, depending on the frequency and intensity of the rain showers. Although the abundance of water in the depressions often causes all kinds of discomforts to its residents, it could at the same time offer a great potential for small-scale agriculture provided that this is triggered by a minimal infrastructural operation.


Focus on depression [2] in the rapidly expanding peri-urban areas of Maputo

TWO DIFFERENT CONDITIONS Essentially two different landscape structures can be distinguished that together constitute the genius loci of this depression. On the one hand there are the semi-densely inhabited hillslopes, differing around 30m in height and leading towards the centre of the depression, on the other hand there’s the relatively flat bottom area with a few elongated lowest points that differ another 1m or so and are clearly visible as green, fertile, unoccupied areas contrasting against their increasingly built surroundings. The

design strategy will consist in implementing a canal system that works differently in each of the two parts. On top of the sand ridge formal and informal tissue meet. Broad streets and a few underused public spaces offer potentials for the implementation of new community functions linked to the canals. The green fertile structures are getting increasingly sparse. Their lowest areas are characterized by actual wetlands, which will become the end point of the canals.






0 50


300 m


Informal tissue


Fertile areas


1 4


The depression is characterized by informal tissue fixing itself on the slopes and in the flood-prone areas while formal areas are situated on the safe high places. In the map formal tissue is omitted to accentuate the geographical difference between both.


PROBLEMATIC WATER CYCLE A specific water cycle applies to the infrastructure-lacking peri-urban areas. Water supply is decentrally organized by POPs without much regulation of the formal water company because the amount of available riverwater just doesn’t suffice to service everyone in the city and money lacks to expand the formal distribution system anyway. Given its nature as a primary need water supply was thus arranged by a bottom-up process. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about drainage of domestic wastewater. Being mostly used to cook, wash and do laundry this water isn’t highly polluted but still causes distress

when released untreated into the environment, especially in combination with the lack of solid waste management that causes garbage to lie around everywhere. Yet this is the reality. People dump their wastewater in the streets or dig a shallow pit in their backyards to get rid of it. Also sanitation plays a role in this since most people use basic pit latrines, the effluent of which infiltrates into the ground. Both actions pollute the groundwater aquifers, the same ones that are the source of the water supply. Furthermore stormwater runoff causes problems in the lowest areas and floods them regularly.



Current water cycle




Canals parallel to the contour lines are long, slow down water runoff and offer capacity during intensive rains. They also allow infiltration.

Canals perpendicular to the contour lines are short and only serve to connect parallel canals.

Unidirectional canals connect the green structures on the bottom of the depression with each other and the slopesystem 23






Laundry station Reedbed

Purifying wetland

retention basin

Drainage canal Stabilization ponds


Public space Terraced vegetable gardens

Water tank


1. B



C 13. D 15. 16.


12. 11.

14. 10.



8. 7.

DESIGN INTERVENTION: COMMUNITY LAUNDRY STATION 1. Ecological drainage canal 2. Purifying reedbed + sand filter 3. Water tank 4. Small-scale agriculture 5. Neighbourhood resting area 6. Terraced vegetable gardens 7. Anaerobic pond 8. Facultative pond

9. Constructed wetland 10. Emergency outlet 11. Clean water retention basin 12. Laundry station 13. Rainwater showers 14. Sanitary block 15. Purifying reedbed 16. Small drainage canal

4. 3.


Public space and vegetable gardens


Wetland purification area



Purification for agriculture


Laundry station with sanitary facilities


URBAN UGLY PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven, Bram Van Sever [BE] DATE october - november 2013 [3 weeks] LOCATION Woesten, Belgium MENTORS Ward Verbakel, Wim Wambecq TYPE urban research SCALE large

Village centers vs farm sprawl

TRIVIA Exhibited at yearly ASRO Open Studio Exhibition [june 2014]


DESCRIPTION The village of Woesten is strongly structured by the N8, a national road connecting Ieper and Veurne. All villages along this road adjusted to its construction by evolving mostly linearly; the road became the new village center. A future bypass of the N8 around Woesten creates the opportunity to restructure its center to become once more a vibrant community in the vast meadow. CONCEPT Although village centers are strechted along the N8 road, a historically more important building typology is shattered across the entire West-Flemish landscape: farms. While plots and row houses aspire to constitute the village center and are consequently crammed together, farms only follow the logic of the landscape. They behave like ‘islands’ in a vast ocean. What we introduce is a process of reconversion from the private, centerminded plot typology towards a farmlike independent ‘island’ model. When the N8 and its bypassing character disappear, the road will regain its attractiveness for local entrepreneurs to settle. When those, in the course of time, start offering their services to neighbours and their immediate community, a new kind of centrality can emerge, substituting the N8 as center of attention. By slowly fading the boundry between the newly-formed ‘island’ and its surroundings we hope to initiate a dynamic of self-sufficiency, social participation and a sustainable vision on ecology.

Strong presence of N8

Plots and row houses vs independent ‘islands’

Plot / row houses conglomerate

farm ‘island’



Present vs future community model

Utopic future of Woesten

Stage 1: entrepreneur settles on free plot next to N8 28

Stage 2: entrepreneur expands his business and invests in sustainable new living units for employees, agrotourists,...

Stage 3: new dynamic makes people turn away from N8. Nice indoor area becomes new focus point 29


Stage 4: a self-sufficient ‘island’ is formed as an answer to changing social needs. Other islands follow its example once proven successfull

ELCANO MASTERPLAN DATE october 2012 [1 month] LOCATION Quart de Poblet, Valencia, Spain MENTORS Silvia Bronchales Alegre, Antonio Gallud MartĂ­nez


TYPE masterplan SCALE large



DESCRIPTION The deserted terrains of former motor factory Izar are planned to be redeveloped as a completely new community in a place that is currently characterized by enormous delapidated and abandoned buildings. The new urban nucleus is scheduled to become an attractive area for new entrepreneurial activities and the creation of jobs to battle the unemployment caused by the current economic situation in Spain. The project covers 170.000m² and will unite housing, workspaces and leisure in an innovative and sustainable way. The masterplan tries to find a balance between renovation of the existing industrial heritage and a fundamental innovation to satisfy residential, cultural, economical and social needs of the future. CONCEPT The main concern was to answer to the rigidity of the industrial layout, in which long hangars were aligned along linear outside spaces that all looked similar. The masterplan counters this rigidity by arranging the new buildings in such a way that the space between them becomes a sequence of specificly designed outside spaces with either public, semi-private or private characterisitics. To guarantee the maximum level of comfort for people living around them these spaces are linked together by different access routes: broad and accessible for cars, narrow and pedestrian-only, green and permeable or paved and mineral. There are places were children can play carelessly, were youngsters can hang around without bothering others or where the elderly can sit down quietly while talking to their neighbours. The site can function completely autonomously but also invites people who live around to join and share their activities and public space.



Existing vs new

Creating secluded outside spaces

Motorized vs pedestrian traffic



1. 2.


ELCANO CO-HOUSING DATE november 2012 - january 2013 [10 weeks]


LOCATION Quart de Poblet, Valencia, Spain MENTORS Silvia Bronchales Alegre, Antonio Gallud MartĂ­nez


TYPE residential architecture SCALE medium


DESCRIPTION This project focuses on 2 buildings designed in the masterplan and aims to provide housing for around 140 households, ranging from families to senior citizens and everything in between. In these times of social changes and urban pressure there is an urgent need for new, comfortable ways of living with and around others. Newly-reconstituted families, the aging of the population, the growing independence of young people among other factors force us to reconsider the current way we live together, and thus build our houses. Combined with the challenges that go with sustainable development this co-habitation is one of the principal problems the residential sector is faced with today.This is for me the starting point of a research-by-design project about how far the densification of our living environments can be pushed without turning homes into living-machines. Besides comfortable apartments social contact with neighbours and accessability of light and air through (shared) terraces were priority.







Daycare GYM Parking








The layout of the Zeta building, named after its form (zeta means the letter z in Spanish) is based on a repetitive system of cubes. The surface area of every cube is 25m2, and depending on the total surface area of the living unit each apartment consist of 2, 3 of 4 cube modules. Various living units are stacked one on top of the other in a TETRIS kind of way, leaving space for light and air to enter and to make sure that every one of them has

at least 3 open module sides. On the second floor an outside passageway is created that at the same time serves as collective space between the residents, on the other floors every 2 or 3 apartments share a semi-private space, be it visually or physically, thus stimulating contact between neighbours. All 3 ‘legs’ of the Zeta building are mirrored copies of one another to avoid overcomplicating the project and facilitating partial prefabrication.




The Viga building (Viga = beam) consists of a mixed-use ground floor that accomodates space for shops, small businesses and private offices.The building is served by 3 circulation cores and the density of living units diminishes with every storey. In this way every floor can enjoy the created outside space by the floor on top of it.The form of the 3 funnels makes sure enough light reaches the lowermost floors. Collective outside spaces grow with the height of the building and are connected to eachother by small bridges that seem to float in the air, a sight that gives the building its characteristic appearance.


ELCANO CO-WORKING DATE february - april 2013 [12 weeks] LOCATION Quart de Poblet, Valencia, Spain

MENTORS Silvia Bronchales Alegre, Antonio Gallud MartĂ­nez TYPE public architecture SCALE medium

38 2



Volumentric concept


DESCRIPTION This assignment sought to reflect about changing needs for working spaces and emerging new ways of collaboration between professionals in the workplace. Within a ground surface of 30 x 90m four major components had to merge in an innovative and creative thinktank: a formation center for entrepreneurial spirits, an incubationcenter for young businesses, a complex of conference and meetingrooms and an area with shared facilities. CONCEPT In order to give every component its necessary space each of them is accomodated on its own floor, ranging from formation center on ground level to the well established offices on the top floor. In this way when individuals and young businesses steadily gain experience and grow they can strive to find themselves on the top floor one day. To avoid antisocial behaviour and stimulate interconnections between workers of the different floors all shared facilities are placed along a diagonal straight corridor crossing the building from entrance to ridge. This corridor gives access to a few splitlevel areas where workers as well as visitors meet to drink coffee, have lunch or relax during the day. In order for the building to have also a social impact on the newly developing site these splitlevels can function as foyer or lounge during evening activities hosted in the small concert hall, the focuspoint of the corridor.

Section BB’


South facade

West facade

East facade

Section AA’ : from the entrance hall you can traverse the whole building in a straight line, ending up at the concert hall



1. Main entrance 2. Public cafĂŠ 3. Library 4. Patio 5.Terrace 6. Work area 7. Screening room 8. Bicycle parking

3. 4.


6. 5.





1. Incubation center 2. Relaxation area 3. Printroom 4. Toilets 2. 4. 1.



+2 7.

4. 2. 1.

5. 3.




4. 3.

1. 2.

1. Office space 2. Terrace 3. Waiting room 4. Bar / foyer 5. Concert hall 6. Backstage 7. VIP room 8. Technical area

6. 5.

1. Conference room 2. Lounge 3. Roof terrace 4. Roof garden 5. Dressing rooms 6. Concert hall level 2


CAMPAN(D)AR PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven Gao Jingchen [CN], Glenn Fischer [CH] ,Andre Schwartz [DE] DATE october 2012 [2 weeks] LOCATION Barrio Campanar, Valencia, Spain MENTOR Elisabet Quintana SeguĂ­ TYPE urban analysis SCALE large DESCRIPTION The first phase of the project consisted of analysing the quarter and drafting guidelines and strategies for spatial improvements.



The quarter of Campanar transformed quite rapidly during the last century. From being a small village surrounded by orchards it became a victim of the city’s rapid and exponential expansion and nowadays constitutes the outskirts of the city of Valencia, hosting skyscrapers, the new Valencia CF football stadium and the congress center among other large scale infrastructure. The quarter is bordered by very different conditions in each direction. The beautiful historic centre of Campanar is still very well preserved in the middle of the quarter, but drowns in the sea of iconic large scale facilities and associated arterial roads. Interestingly, green spaces in the old structure in the south of Campanar are small but quite well integrated in the structure of the quarter, whereas green spaces in the newer parts of Campanar are large surfaces, more independent to the urban tissue. Valencia: two centuries of exponential growth



Benicalap quarter

Huertas (orchards)

Turia park


Valencia city center





a. Define quarters and centers

b. Improve connections to existing quarters, diminishing traffic barriers

c. Connect neighbourhood parks to more coherent, pedestrian oriented green spaces

d. Use large scale facilities as landmarks, improve their spatial integration

GREENLINK CAMPANAR PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven Gao Jingchen [CN] Glenn Fischer [CH] Andre Schwartz [DE] DATE november 2012 - january 2013 [8 weeks] LOCATION Plaza Diputat Lluís Lucía, Campanar MENTOR Elisabet Quintana Seguí TYPE landscape architecture SCALE medium


DESCRIPTION In a second phase we zoomed in on one of the many small parks of Campanar to implement the guidelines and strategies mentioned before on a neighbourhood scale. CONCEPT The concept of using the park as a connector between the huge Turia park and the cosy Campanar historic centre is a link in a bigger ‘green chain’, that connects the many small, isolated or badly maintained parks that are scattered across the barrio in an attempt to structure the area. The green link incorporates the many currently abandoned brownfields that are present near the edges of the neighbourhood, increasing social controll and safety as well as creating the possibility for people to practice especially linear sports (e.g. jogging, cycling, skating, etc.) without obstructions. On the scale of the Luís Lucía park we try to translate the greenlink concept to a more concrete and almost literal structure. It meanders through the park, thereby demarcating zones and atmospheres. We distinguish the main zones Sol and Sombra, the Nest and the Alley. Further the northern and southern entrances are marked with an elevated element which contains either a huge tree or a big artwork, giving identity to the main entrances of the park.


Close down street

Improve amenity value

Expand public space

Project Area

Green Micro Connection

Green Macro Connection

Neighbourhood Parks








[3] x



x x


[1] x


NEST The “Nest” stands out as a space of its own, secluded and elevated from the rest of the park. It’s an introverted place for those in need of a quiet area. Gaps in the shrubs provide the visitor with certain views over the park.


SOL/SOMBRA The Sol is the part of the park that is very open, childfriendly and sunny. The Sombra is the grassy part where people walk their dogs and seek shelter from the sun.

ALLEY Contrary to the former street the “Alley” becomes an actual place through its rather diffuse form which decreases the bypassing character of this connection. Different ground materials distinguish areas suitable for movement, abidance and recreation.

Tamarix gallica

Capparis spinosa

Calamagrostis x acutiflora

Pennisetum alopecuroides

Deschampsia cespitosa

Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron‘

Pinus pinea

Quercus ilex

Quercus suber

Quercus rotundifolia

Citrus species

Jacaranda mimosifolia

Cercis siliquastrum

Robinia pseudoacacia

Pinus x hispanica



[3] 47



The ‘GreenLink’ enables the green connection to the rest of the quarter, supports equipment and furniture to the inside and enhances the division of ‘Sol’ and ‘Sombra’ without separating the park. Where both zones meet the GreenLink encircles a multifunctional little square and provides seating accommodations as well as football goals, slides, swings etc.

¿QUEDAMOS en el CUBO? PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven Victor Delaqua [BR] Sam bouten [BE] Nicolò Ondelli [IT]


DATE march 2013 [1 week] LOCATION Architecture Faculty, Universitat Politècnica de València TYPE installation


SCALE small TRIVIA Awarded 2nd place UPV student competition 48


DESCRIPTION The goal of this competition amongst students was to change the perception of the faculty’s glass entry hall in an economically sustainable way to make it more comfortable and visually attractive for passers-by while at the same time accentuating the faculty’s logo ‘ETSA’. CONCEPT The entry hall asks for identity. It is a dynamical space: streams of people are fluctuating trough the day, leaving the place never empty. It is also a destination in se, where people take a break, drink coffee between classes, wait for friends. A meeting point. Joining these opposite characteristics - moving and staying - is what we intended to do. The idea of the project is to catch the short moments of waiting or meeting, the way to do it by designing a piece of furniture that is flexible, versatile, simple and modular. During the day the elements change places and configurations according to the wishes of their users, but during special events the units can function together as a small stage + seating places or an expositionwall. To make sure that the identity of the school stays visible from the landing outside, one row of cubes remains fixed. In this way the wall closest to the window is a invariable promoting the logo of the faculty..

model exposition


The pattern on the corners of the cube give users a clue on how to rearrange the different elements in the original formation.

Multifunctional entrance hall


Basic configuration plan

Possible configuration plan


Structural frame, covered with multiplex



Dynamic perception of the school’s logo through angled view

90cm 45cm 35cm

WESTSTATION MOLENBEEK MASTERPLAN PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven, Bram Van Sever [BE], Matthias Vanhoutteghem [BE], Olivier Van Calster [BE] DATE october - december 2011 [12 weeks] LOCATION Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium MENTORS Brecht Verstraete, Ivo Vanhamme, Han Vandevyvere TYPE masterplan SCALE medium TRIVIA Exhibited at yearly ASRO Open Studio Exhibition [june 2012] 50

DESCRIPTION Brussels is in desperate need of new, less spaceconsuming forms of housing that make urban living attractive again, but also the urban fringes are in need of clarification and restructuring. This masterplan for a site just opposite the busy weststation in Molenbeek explores the possibilities of stacking and linking housing units in a dens and compact living complex that structures the urban conglomerate while at the same time embracing public spaces and organizing community life. CONCEPT The starting point of our exploration was the creation of 3 different types of open areas. A lowered plaza accomodates the requested fresh food market, the elevated plateau on top is less public and is focused on neighbourhood functions. A collective garden for the residents is like a hidden oasis outsiders can only ocasionally catch a glimpse of. A community center connects the site with the neighbourhood behind it and brings both residents and neighbours together.The busy traffic node at the train station is with its urban character the perfect place for a tower. This iconic sculpture becomes a landmark in the openness of the area and gives a strong identity to this disadantaged neighbourhood.


public / private

physical barrier


street as 4th facade

visual connection


Sheltered market

Elevated square

Collective garden


Location of the project in its urban fabric


Buffer with commercial functions creates jobs and stimulates the local economy

The broad boardwalk along the Ninoofsesteenweg allows comfortable windowshopping while catching glimpses of the collective garden


The striking old bridge that is still attached to the ancient brewery becomes a connection to the elevated square, since this old buidling will be reused as a cultural center in the future

The elevated square allows a framed view into the collective garden

Patio unit

Work-at-home unit

Tower unit

Living units on the top floor offer the possibility to accommodate a patio that increases natural lighting and serves as an outside space for the residents but also makes the roofgarden accessible. The classic backyard typology in this new context makes it possible for neighbours to meet and greet informally arriving ‘through the roof ’.

The work-at-home typology comes back in 4 variants. Mostly they are duplexes with commercial zones on the ground floor along the Ninoofsesteenweg. In two cases an artists’ atelier borders the elevated functionsquare. A few others are placed with the work areas facing a small roofgarden.

The residential tower is placed strategically on the tip of the site, iconic for the complex and a beacon for the revalorization of the neighbourhood. Every floor consists of aproximately 4 living units of 140m2, chained around a central circulation tube.


Corner unit

Duplex unit

Cantilever unit


Difficult construction knots where non-orthogonal volumes intersect are difficult to design because of limited accession of sunlight. Long, narrow corner units solve this problem.

The volume dividing the elevated square from the collective garden consists of compact duplexes that are accessible through a shared outside circulation corridor. The active areas are oriented towards the public square in order to exert social controll.

The cantilever facing the crossroads of the Edmond Bonehillstraat and the Humbeekstraat accomodates living units with two connecting outside facades. The two protruding building layers consist of duplexes with a superb view over the surrounding neighbourhood. The living units on the left border the quiet Humbeekstraat, the other side looks out over the collective garden. The cantilever tries to embrace the neighbourhood but also serves as an instrument of social controll and the many windows discourage streetkids to loiter around.


PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven Olivier Van Calster [BE] DATE february - may 2012 [16 weeks] LOCATION Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium MENTORS Brecht Verstraete, Ivo Vanhamme, Han Vandevyvere, Joost Ruland TYPE residential architecture SCALE medium TRIVIA Exhibited at yearly ASRO Open Studio Exhibition [june 2012] 56

DESCRIPTION Starting from the masterplan in the previous section we zoom in on the more private part of the site that accomodates around fifty families: the collective garden and building volumes around it. CONCEPT This target group is deliberately chosen to assure the conversion of the current, temporary character of the neighbourhood to a dynamic living environment in which growing up is a delight and where the concepts of ‘neighbour’ and ‘community’ still actually have meaning. The gradation between public/collective/ private is explored carefully because we want the building block to function as a social organ that both controlls and socializes with the neighbourhood, aided by the community center and urban terrace on the crossroads of two quiet streets which expands the site to the adjacent buildings. Despite the representation of the project as a sequence of ‘places’ they do not function separately, to the contrary. Combined they create an exciting but still moderate whole.

Physical model


Mosaic facade buffers noise and smells

Structural measure becomes pleasant resting spot

Small office garden guarantees pleasant lunch- or smoking breaks

Double-height terraces

57 Cantilever shelters urban terraces

Collective garden is a dynamic environment that bridges the height difference in a playful way

Neighbourhood as a 4th facade because of single storey community center

Sollid natural stone facade buffers noise, smells and bustle from the busy Ninoofsesteenweg to safeguard the rest of the site









Community center 1. Bicycle parking 2. Storage for market 3. Market 4. Collective garden for residents 5. Entrances Ninoofsesteenweg 6. Stairs to underground parking 7. Parking entrance 8. Entrances Humbeekstraat 9. Community terraces 10.




8. 7. 9.


Patio unit along the Ninoofsesteenweg with accessible roof garden

Duplex unit between elevated square and collective garden with private roof garden

Community center with accessible roof


Corner apartments with terraces of a double height for extra light accession

Various apartments with office spaces linked to a small cosy roof garden for residents that work at home

Section through the volume along the Humbeekstraat

Exclusive duplex apartments with views over the entire neighbourhood

Opbouw Groendak:

Opbouw Groendak:

Vegetatie sedum / vaste planten DAKU-extensief substraat 80mm

Vegetatie sedum / vaste planten


DAKU-extensief substraat 80mm

BIK GlassLight, raam elektrisch te openen: Thermisch gescheiden aluminium frame


DAKU-drainage-waterreservoir platen 62mm

Kunststof adapter

DAKU-drainage-waterreservoir platen 62mm

Wortelvaste waterdichting RESITRIX SK W Dampopen isolatie 2x 150mm

HR++ veiligheidsglas

Wortelvaste waterdichting RESITRIX SK W

Zelfklevend dampscherm ALUTRIX Hellingsbeton 2%

Dampopen isolatie 2x 150mm

Zelfklevend dampscherm ALUTRIX

Draagvloer 210mm

Hellingsbeton 2% Draagvloer 210mm

Bepleistering 15mm

Bepleistering 15mm

80mm Muuropbouw:


Houten gevelbekleding 20mm

Verticale en horizontale latten 45mm



BIK afdichtingsband

62mm Bitumenkit

/luchtspouw + ventilatie Waterscherm Winddichte dampopen

houtvezelplaat 22mm Houten keperwerk + Minerale Wol 190mm


Luchtdichte dampremmende

uitstijvingsplaat Kleefbare luchtdichtingsfolie


Opbouw zijkant: Multiplex 30mm Minerale wol 100mm


OSB plaat 20mm Zelfklevend dampscherm ALUTRIX Gipskarton 10mm







Dook Kitvoeg

Stopprofiel + soepele voeg

1.20m Terrasopbouw Vloerafwerking Houtpolymeermateriaal (WPC) 20mm


Thermische onderbreking:

Constructiebalken 40x40mm

Aluminium Schuifraam REYNAERS CP155 Waterscherm Stalen L-profiel Horizontale keper

Terrasvoetjes TORROTIMBER BIGFOOT Waterscherm Prefab betonnen terras

Houten balken 20mm /ventilatie Afzelia afwerking 12mm


Vloerafwerking 10mm

Dekvloer 60mm Akoestische isolatie 20mm Leidingenchappe 60mm

Draagvloer 210mm Bepleistering 15mm

Drukvaste Isolatie L-profieltje ter bevestiging van het verticale keperwerk Thermische onderbreking wapeningssysteem ISOPRO type IP 10mm 60mm 20mm 60mm



+11.8 10mm 60mm 20mm 60mm



1m brandoverslag




Houten gevelbekleding 20mm

Verticale en horizontale latten 45mm /luchtspouw + ventilatie

Vloerafwerking 10mm Dekvloer 60mm


Akoestische isolatie 20mm Leidingenchappe 60mm

Winddichte dampopen houtvezelplaat 22mm

Draagvloer 210mm

Houten keperwerk + Minerale Wol 190mm


Luchtdichte dampremmende uitstijvingsplaat 15mm

Leidingenspouw met isolatie 45mm Bepleistering 15mm

Aluminium vast raamprofiel REYNAERS CS77

Construction details of the timber frame wall



Terrasopbouw Vloerafwerking Houtpolymeermateriaal (WPC) 20mm

Vloerafwerking 10mm

Terrasvoetjes TORROTIMBER BIGFOOT WaterschermHellingschappe 2%

Leidingenchappe 60mm

Dekvloer 60mm Akoestische isolatie 20mm

Constructiebalken 40x40mm

Draagvloer 300mm Waterscherm

Draagvloer 180mm

PUR isolatie 100mm


-1.0 10mm 60mm 20mm 60mm




Muuropbouw: In situ gestort beton 300mm Winddichte dampopen houtvezelplaat 22mm Waterscherm

Verticale en horizontale latten 45mm Houten gevelbekleding 20mm

Section through collective garden facing the community center

PUBLIC CUBE PROJECT TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven Olivier Van Calster [BE] Valentine Gruwez [BE] Bram Van Sever [BE] DATE october - november 2010 [8 weeks] LOCATION Fictive 15x15x15m plot MENTORS Tom Thijs TYPE public architecture SCALE medium TRIVIA


DESCRIPTION Design a public space in a cube of 15x15x15m. Only 2,5 of the 6 sides of the cube can be exposed to light and air. Context doesn’t matter. With this assignment in mind we created a 4-floor public building, with possibility to stall bikes, meet people, drink a cup of coffee, study, consult books, listen to some music and play games. CONCEPT From the beginning our design team was intrigued by the use of soft, smooth curves while still keeping the facade extremely transparant. This implied a very subtle and elegant alternation between curving floorplates and curving glass walls. We chose to keep the color palette very simple with an all-white look, accentuated by some red furniture. A central, oval shaped tube contains the staircases and is the only vertical continous element present.

The cube’s openness triggers activities at any time of day

Solid vs Void



Bar Toilets

Bicycle parking




+1 63


Library Study area


Game area


Meeting room



STEP PHILIPPINES VOLUNTEER TEAM Nicolaas Van Orshoven, Paul van den Hof [NL], Lukas De Jonghe [BE], Maxim Hoflack [BE], Chelsea Terryn [BE], Dorien Bartels [NL] DATE october - november 2014 [8 weeks] LOCATION Luzon, Philippines TYPE in situ SCALE small TRIVIA Presented for and built in cooperation with the municipalities of Quezon, San Mateo and Divilacan.


DESCRIPTION While writing my master thesis during my last year as a student I already new I wanted a break from my normal life after my graduation to try and see something of the world, as a transition period before starting my internship as an architect. From a feeling of social and ecological commitment and an eagerness to discover and learn about sustainable principles that can change the way we deal with our environment I started informing myself about volunteering possibilities. Especially programs where I could use my architectural background for the better and improve my understanding of sustainable construction techniques while emerging myself in local culture caught my eye. Eventually I came across a program organized by BOUWORDE vzw, in collaboration with NGO Cabiokid in the Philippines. Cabiokid’s vision is that we should strive for a world of small, self-sustaining, adaptive, inter-connected communities that respect, learn from, and live in harmony with the natural environment. I jumped at the opportunity, organized a fundraiser and together with 5 other volunteers consequently spent two months in the Philippines, learning about permaculture and sustainable construction with bamboo as well as about teamwork and responsabilities on the construction site. We participated in the design and construction of small-scale projects in 3 remote villages that involved working, living and laughing together with local people and cooperations. We had a great time.




Laying the floor surrounded by an incredible, vast landscape

Last phase of a project that has been ongoing for 2 years straight

Manually pouring concrete floor reinforced with bamboo slats that have been treated against termites

Inspecting the rainwater storage tank on the roof with incredible views all around



Hand-drawn sketches of the design, ready to be presented to the mayor


Digging holes for the foundations

Placing reinforcement nets made out of treated bamboo

Building a temporary bamboo scaffolding to access the construction


Finished foundations and main structural frame

Brainstorming about the Divilacan renovation project

last update: jan 2015

Profile for Nico Van Orshoven

Architecture Portfolio  

A selection of my student work.

Architecture Portfolio  

A selection of my student work.