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[DIS]CONTINUITY: interventions of historical Rotterdam

Teera Dhanamun, Jue Qiu, Philip Mannaerts Archiprix 2011 TUDelft


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[dis]continuity : Interventions in historical Rotterdam Archiprix graduation project -- Jue Qiu, Teera Dhanamun, Philip Mannaerts

Content

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. Research of Urban Morphology

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. Nolli maps & programmatic comparison

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. Time line of Urban Development . Urban scale interventions

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. Areal interventions

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. Building scale interventions

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. Programmatic connection & Composition

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. Hybrid composition

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. Masterplan result

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. City office v.1 - Teera Dhanamun

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. City office v.2 - Jue Qiu

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. Hotel - Philip Mannaerts

130

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Sequence of Urban Development Rotterdam is the city in the Netherlands which is particularly known for its modern and experimental architecture. Trends and theories of architecture and urban planning from the last six decades, can be perceived by walking through the city. Rotterdam can also recite another story, the one of the city that is lost. At the beginning of the Second World War, the whole city centre was bombed and almost completely destroyed by the following fire. The government made the resolute decision not to rebuild, but to grasp the opportunity to build a new city centre, following the principles of a so called modern metropolis. Today, the city seems to be burdened by the loss of its rich history, but also by the effect of the radical changes made 60 years ago. Literal references to the ‘bombing blitz’ are made to recall the tragic event, in the shape of statues or lights in the pavement showing the ‘brandgrens’. The rich history of the city however, is wiped out and forgotten. On a shorter timescale, a different phenomena can be noticed. Certain locations have been subject to a succession of unrelated events. For example the Binnenrotte that has been facing different spatial conditions , certainly within the period after the reconstruction. From a canal to a viaduct to a current open square that is now and then being a lively market, otherwise a deserted open space. This is why an extra layer to the research and design strategy is added. Widening the research field into a fourth dimension, the one of time, can offer long lasting solutions, ones that can endure the changes of time. By bringing back specific characteristics of historic Rotterdam, and implementing them in a contemporary manner, a sense of continuity is created. The interventions have the lost history as a starting point, are adjusted to today’s prospects and are attuned to the transformations of the future. An analysis of the morphological growth of the city centre, from the 17th century till 2010, was related to resulting spatial characteristics. For zones of substantial significance in the perception of the city, we determined the specific intervention that was definite for its history of development. Our interference became a combination of emphasizing existing urban fabrics or structures and restoring a former ambience into the current situation. By only minor adjustments, by emphasizing the inherent cultural quality, the most optimal result can be achieved. The design location is - in contrast with the rest of Rotterdam surrounded by historical buildings, like the city house, post office and other monuments. They dominate the general appearance and create a receptive ground to graft on. In this delicate environment it becomes very significant how a building could endure the changes of time and program, without affecting the functioning of the public domain surrounding it. How a sense of continuity is created, to bridge a gap of future developments. By providing connections with the existing urban fabric, enhancing the interventions of the earlier design strategy and functioning as a landmark to offer a function of visual guidance through the city, the new building can play an important role in the perception of and the movement through the city centre. The different functions of the building - a hotel, popstage and city office - are tied together in a scheme like a ‘rugby scrum’. The places where they connect or overlap, can be interpreted as the most public space of the scheme. A hybrid ensemble offers interesting relations and interfaces inside the building, and also the opportunity to connect the public areas to the public domain of the whole city. The public part of the program are placed on first (and higher) floors, the public hotel functions are located in a floating platform above the hotel rooms. This leaves the ground floor open for commercial functions, a passage that offers a new connection within the urban network. The masterplan creates not only a vibrant hybrid space, it also shows the possibility of a collaboration between three designers. The masterplan is formulated together, every single function is executed individually following a prearranged set of rules. Jue Qiu, Teera Dhanamun, Philip Mannaerts Delft, January 2011 5

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urban morphology

1694

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1733


1886

1839

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urban morphology

1925

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1935


2005

1945

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nolli map

Nolli Map

2009

1886 1886

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2009


historical programmatic overview

Community Commercial Cultural Office Residential Transport

2009

1886

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Timeline of Urban Development

17th century Rotterdam

The water city

Filling of small canals

Railway Viaduct on Binnenrotte

After a century of major growth, Rotterdam became the dominated economy of surrounding townships. The ‘Schielandhuis’ is the only 17th century building that has survived the WWII bombing.

The city was an important merchant city. Port activities penetrated widely into the city centre, by the numberous canals and large quaysides.

For hygienic reasons, most of the small canals were filled. Still, living conditions remained rather bad, people were living in small and poor houses.

Filling of Binnenrotte for the construction of a railway viaduct, running through the city centre. Hoogstraat and the Passage were the main commercial areas.

1694

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1733

1839

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1886


Construction Of Cityhouse, Postoffice Large housing blocks were demolished for the construction of a new city house and post office. Coolsingel and other large canals were filled for guiding car traffic into the city.

1925

Breakthrough of Meent

Plan for reconstruction, Van Traa

Current situation

To solve traffic problems, a connection between Coolsingel and Goudsesingel was made. Simultaneously, new buildings like the stock exchange and police office were erected.

At the beginning of the Second World War, the whole city centre was bombed and almost completely destroyed. The government made the resolute decision not to rebuild, but to grasp the opportunity to build a new city centre, according to a masterplan of Cornelis van Traa.

Today, the city centre seems to be burdened by the loss of its rich history, but also by the radical changes made 60 years ago. It is chracterized by open and deserted pulic spaces, out of scale buildings and a lack of historical overlap and ambiguity

1935

1945

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2005

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URBAN SCALE INTERVENTIONS

In the area of the original city centre (Stadsdriehoek), eight principal areas that determine the perception of the city, and three secondary areas with great potential, are selected to adjust according to our our results of the research. The principal areas mainly include important urban streets and urban nodes. The secondary areas are minor locations, but have the potential to become more public and attractive places to stay. Our interference is a combination of emphasizing existing urban fabrics or structures and restoring a former ambience into the current situation. By only minor adjustments, by emphasizing the inherent cultural quality of the specific sites, the most optimal result can be achieved. [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Hofplein

Pompenburg Goudsesingel

Haagseveer Binnenrotte

Meent

Coolsingel Schielandshuis Hoogstraat

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Meent :

Breakthrough by Burgdoffer in 1914 Description - cutting through the existing urban fabric - connection of Coolsingel with residential area - used to be a monotonous image of facades (after the bombing)

Historic Picture of Meent from elevated Railway [DIS]CONTINUITY

Historic Picture of Meent from Doorbraak 16


Proposal - emphasis on a consistent and coherent appearance of the Meent on ground level. i.e. same paving, greenery, wideness of the pavement or continuous gradient

Conceptual Drawing 17

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Coolsingel :

Boulevard after filling of the Coolvest Description - connection of north and south of city centre - large (and monumental) buildings along the street, give a symbolic image of the city - wide with tram and car traffic

Historic pictures of Hoogstraat [DIS]CONTINUITY

Pictures of reference 18


Proposal - look at famous examples (Champs Elysees, Firenze) and try to get the specific characteristics. Then try to implement them on the Coolsingel (f.e. remove pavilions, un-obstructed groundfloors, ‌)

Section sketch

Conceptual Drawing 19

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hoogstraat :

long strip as a shopping street Description - pedestrian connection from east to west - backside of buildings is low quality - Buildings are lower then in the past - Original Hoogstraat is cut in two by the Binnenrotte

Historic pictures of Hoogstraat [DIS]CONTINUITY

Pictures of reference 20


Proposal - put some trees in adjacent spaces. continuous pavement (other material, colour, ‌) - make of the Hoogstraat a more compact shopping street with shops of better quality - reconnect the Hoogstraat with the other side, over the Binnenrotte(extend the pavement on the Binnenrotte to the other side)

Section sketch

Conceptual Drawing 21

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Haagseveer and canal:

historic linear connection north to south Description - 1 linear street, next to the Delftse Vaart, with small building blocks in between. - pedestrian connection, going south - several see-throughs in between the buildings, towards the water

Historic pictures of Haagseveer and Delftsevaart [DIS]CONTINUITY

Pictures of reference 22


Proposal - emphasis on the linear North-South connection - slow street on the one side, canal with an ‘esplanade’ on the other side, with multiple visual and physical connections between each other - esplanade with more intimate materials (timber or steel plate ‘see through’) - focus on backsides of buildings, make the edge more rigid (soft material). Make the back sides more enjoyable, by adding several bridges, connecting the edges to the ‘esplanade’.

Section sketch

Conceptual Drawing 23

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Binnenrotte :

Place of transformation Description - large, continuous, empty open space without any subdivision - First large plane of water, later filled for railway-viaduct, now open space after the underground railway track - Binnenrotte became larger (wider) with the reconstruction after the bombing

Timeline of the Binnenrotte(plein), showing the different transformations [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Proposal - emphasis on the linear North-South connection - slow street on the one side, canal with an ‘esplanade’ on the other side, with multiple visual and physical connections between each other - esplanade with more intimate materials (timber or steel plate ‘see through’) - focus on backsides of buildings, make the edge more rigid (soft material). Make the back sides more enjoyable, by adding several bridges, connecting the edges to the ‘esplanade’.

Conceptual Drawing: Binnenrotte as a park, different activities

sport facilities and recreation

thick grown park

playgorund for kids

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open square at Blaak

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Hofplein:

contrast between now and before the reconstruction Description - a node of traffic, around a central fountain - one quite attractive and three unattractive corners - no good connection of the different sides of the crossroad

Historic pictures of Haagseveer and Delftsevaart [DIS]CONTINUITY

Pictures of reference 26


Proposal - place an object in the middle of the Hofplein, showing the news, commercials, sports - try to make a visual connection of coherence with the other sides of the street, create places to stay, make an attractive traffic circle (at least on the two south sides)

Sketch (from Northwest corner of Hofplein)

Conceptual Drawing 27

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Pompenburg - Goudsche Single :

main axis around the centre after the filling of canal

Description - wide, traffic of cars and trams - only partly covered with green. - rather small pavement Proposal - attention to ground floor activity - Green tramway completely, grass + trees Historic Picture of Pompenburg

Conceptual Drawing [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Mariniersweg : new connection in post war reconstruction Description - wide street, low traffic - facilities for people to stay and green area, in the middle of the road - wideness forms a border for the remaining part of the original historic city Proposal - focus on the present assets, use the green in the middle and the low traffic to make a nice environment to stay. - more pedestrian crossings, to go to the green area

Conceptual Drawing 29

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Schielandshuis & Markethall : New develloped area around the monument Description - monumental building in the middle of high rises - bad connection with the water - deserted and bald, too much open space - chaotic mixture of different programs - market hall will make area more lively

Historic pictures of Haagseveer and Delftsevaart [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Proposal - redevelop open space next to the water - make wider bases of highrise on groundlevel, to make the area more dense, compact - match the program on groundlevel with the area (addition of commercial program) - extend the bank of Steiger or build some terrace next to water make a quiet and comfortable space for people.

addition of commercial area

wider bases for a more compact environment Conceptual Drawing 31

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AREAL INTERVENTIONS

For the direct surroundings of our site, we continued with the same strategy but worked on a more detailed level. Six specific interventions are proposed to improve the site and neighborhood, though they are partially derived from the larger interventions. The pedestrian scale is our primar focus; for example Stadhuisstraat can become a new square to connect the site with Coolsingle and shopping and business area of the Rotterdam; The Haagscheveer can obtain a more consistent quality of a linear north-south street. Other interventions are specificly chosen to stress the historical qualities of the area, with city-house, postoffice, police-office and Stadstimmerhuis, four monuments next to each other. [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Police Office Delftsche Poort

Delftschevaart

Doelstraat

Stadhuisstraat Haagseveer

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Delftsche Poort :

connecting water The Delftsevaart is extended until the Pompenburg, like it was before. The Delftsche Poort used to be this gate for crossing the water on Hofplein. The continuing of the water till the ‘monument’ will give people a reference of the canal which was busy and crowded in the past. It will also give the area a visual connection towards the north, to make it more lively. A new bridge is also provided so that the traffic for two side will not be influenced.

Historic pictures of Haagseveer and Delftsevaart

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Doelstraat :

sport field The urban structure of this area altered completely after the Second World War, what used to be a big block with an inside garden for the society ‘De Doelen’ is now re-arranged as residential block and the police building with the linear square in between. The area used to serve as cultural and recreational space (Theatre and Archery club) but instead of bringing these functions back, we want to restore the liveliness of this area by customizing the area for the present residential block (Sportfield and small skating park)

Historic picture

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Before

After

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Delftsevaart :

Esplanade on Water A new esplanade of an intimate material (wood) is built along the Delftsevaart, next to the existing residential blocks. It can be a refernce to the former situation, when to water was used intensively. The esplanade is a little lower than the level of the ground, which means closer to water. It offer people a platform to get closer to water. The ground floor of these houses are replaced with some public functions (cafes, bars, barbers...) to attract more people.

Historic pictures

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Before

After

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haagseveer :

removing of staircases To provide a continuous feeling on street level, and to emphasize the linearity of the Haagseveer, the existing staircases along the Haagseveer are moved towards the back side of the residential block. The space is already present. This together with a same pattern of pavement, will cause that more space on the pavement is won. A comfortable pedestrian environment is created.

Historic pictures

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Before

After

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police office :

re-valuation of the historical facade The ‘Politie- paleis’ was one of the only buildings that survived the WWII. It was renovated in 1993, but with few respect to the existing building. And extra layer and new roof was added, a pink plaster layer on the facade. The extension of the ‘60s is green and looks out of date.

Historic picture

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Before

After

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Stadhuisstraat:

Pathway and Square toward the Building By creating a large pedestrain area between Cityhouse and Post Office, we make a gesture for opening our building toward Coolsingle. Both physical and visible connection to the new facade from the main boulevard. The wide space with benches and trees, can become a new square, not just a pathway towards the building.

Historic picture

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Before

After

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Pedestrain Area Overview

High Density Area : Transition from the commercial area

Low Density Area : Slow pedestrain connection from north to south (Haagseveer)

Stadhuisstraat : Pathway and square from Coolsingel towards the building.

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Value assesment of the monument In the spirit of our urban scenario, it is also important to define the historic value of the ‘Stadstimmerhuis’. In an exceptional area in Rotterdam, with historic buildings, a new building can cause unintended contrasts. The ‘Stadstimmerhuis’ can act as an intermediar, generating a link between different periods of time and providing a clue of the former historic value. By determining the historic relevance, and attuning it with the proposals of our urban scenario, we can later on take it into account for our design. Positive aspects - Linear character on both Haagseveer and Meent - Shops on street level of Meent give liveliness to the surroundings - cultural-historical value

Good characteristics - The architectural appaerance is sober but also subtle, nice combination of brickwork and concrete - Ornamentic elements on both facades - repetitive, monotonous character, mainly on Meent - Haagseveer is also repetitive, but has characteristic elements (of the ‘wings’)

Negative aspects - elevated groundfloor on Haagseveer causes difficulties for renovation - rather shallow interior of the linear part - Exterior staircases are nice, but on raamplein it causes irregularity - uncertain condition of the inner courtyard side. (packed and saved?)

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Historical relevance of the area

Burgdoffer marked the area as 1 (closed) block, while it remained open and fallow

Need for continuity on Haagseveer + compact inner city -> close off the street on Raamplein?

We think that we will not worsen the attractiveness of the area by building on the Raamplein By organising a pedestrian zone in the Stadhuisstraat, the amount of valuable public space is multiplied by 1,3! [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Circulation and sightlines on our site

But need for connections from the city house to the Haagseveer and canal. This can be accomplished by openness on ground level on location of Raamplein. Pedestrian connections Sight lines Historical

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BUILDING INTERVENTIONS

The masterplan can also be seen as a sum of different interventions. On the one hand, they continue the principle of the preceding interventions. On the other hand, they search for historic continuation and identification on a wider base. The direct presence of the historical buildings, surrounding our site, ask for a larger attention to this subject. [DIS]CONTINUITY

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Density

Rotterdam is characterised by open and wide public spaces, linear directions. We like to implement more exiting urban space, more dense and with more possibilities for surprises.

Grafting

Our site is - in contrast with the rest of Rotterdam - surrounded by historical buildings, like the city house, post office and the monument on our site. They dominate the general appearance and create a receptive ground to graft on. This act of grafting is not only a physical one, every function can benefit form the monumental presence. Still this demands a careful working method.

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Landmark

The building offers an Urban Guidance for the movement through the city. In the shape of a horizontal skyscraper, it invites people from further distance to approach the site.

Passage squares

By connecting both sides with a guiding passage, we create the possibility to open up those sides of the building block towards the outside. The passage ends at two small squares, focussed on the adjacent functions.

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Raamplein

The Raamplein adjacent to our site is not valuable to keep. We will improve the attractiveness of the area by building on the Raamplein and organizing a pedestrian zone in the Stadhuisstraat. Still, the amount of valuable public space is multiplied by 1.3. The connection from the city house to the Haagseveer and canal is accomplished by a connection on ground level.

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City fabric

Circulatiion of guiiding connection points

Obs

on our site

Differences in direction n of circulation

While the whole city-centre of Rotterdam seems to be build up out of long linear connections (visual and physical), with a lot of overview and without obstructions or suprises, our site seems to be the exception. Because of the 3 periodes of construction of the surrounding buildings, few of the existing circulation is taken into account. Instead of demolishing parts of obstructing buildings, an guiding circulation of connection points is

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Programmatic connection & Composition

Linking of program on scale of city centre The site is ideally located in the transition area in the Rotterdam City Center, surrounded by residential, commercial and office space. Our urban scenario strategies can cluster the public realm in this area and generate the connection between all the zones to make the site to be the hybrid hub for all facilities in Rotterdam. [DIS]CONTINUITY

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office

shops

hotel

Linking of program on scale of city centre

Linking of program on scale of city centre

Juxtaposition of different functions will create possibilities for people to meet and for new experiences to happen. The hybrid program in the building is connected to the surrounding context and the city.

Office, commercial functions, hotel and pop stage can generate together an active and attractive public space covering every whole day. The linking of the program offers the possibility for the whole program to benefit from this 24 hours public life.

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Hybrid composition

The embracement of different functions in our hybrid programs is the key to achieve our goals in this masterplan. The morphology of a ‘scrum’ in rugby is the way that the three entities can form 1 unity. In the end it allows possibilities for multiple interfaces, whithin the same building, and between different functions.

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Three different building parts are connected to each other in the overlapping part, the part that we call ‘The Glue’. Public Realm will provide the glue is actually the public realm inside that connects three separated identities and generates new cross hybridity. The glue is the part that three designers can design from this masterplan, next to their individual design.

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Sequence of Intervention

First step : Mass Define maximim mass on site + Raamplein.

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Second step : Circulation Axis Determine circulation through building, from Stadhuisstraat to Haagseveer, by means of attractors.

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Third step : Opening Up At the end of the axis, the building opens up, offering an inviting gesture and places to stay.


Fourth step : Transparant plint The plint becomes a continous commercial strip together with entrances of the different functions

Fifth step : Voids The addition of voids to gain natural light, and to offer opportunities for multiple interfaces.

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Sixth step : Horizontal skyscraper Lowering of building mass where needed, creation of an extra volume for urban guidance and a view on the city.

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Masterplan Result

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Masterplan Result

The result is a hybrid composition of four different functions. Simultaneously, it creates the possibility of an interesting collaboration between three independent designers. Following a prearranged set of rules, every single function can be executed individually, while the inherent quality of the composition is preserved.

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