casanova+hernandez designed the ’26 DWELLINGS in BEEKBERGEN’ in Netherlands.
Description from the architects:
In front of an existing park, near the Betuwe and with views over an old church, a new development is responsible for giving new life to the area.
On one hand the intervention has to become a landmark in the park. The new volume has to create a dialogue with the existing church and at the same time it has to tension the longitudinal axis that runs along the park by ‘closing’ the perspective at one of its ends.
On the other hand the project has to guarantee continuity with the existing volumes in the surroundings and their character.
The project is based on a careful dialogue between two skins that give answer to the border conditions on both sides of the location:
1 THE URBAN SKIN: this skin wraps the building in front of the existing city and relates it to this urban context. It gives a more massive appearance to the building. This skin is made of stony material perforated by openings of different sizes that follow a rhythm visible in the surrounding buildings.
2 THE GREEN SKIN: this element creates the facade of the building only in the area in front of the park, thus creating a dialogue with the green area and the church.
This skin is made of glazed printed colorful elements that wrap the building creating extra long balconies along the whole facade in front of the park. These elements are related in terms of color and size with the old colorful windows of the church. The elements are printed with a pattern of nature that integrates the building in the existing green area. Thanks to this pattern the building will not be experienced as a massive volume in the park.
The housing program consists of apartments for starters and older people to sell and some row houses to rent (the park dwellings).
THE APARTMENT BLOCK is specially designed to create a good relation with the context.
The plan of the block is very compact and efficient. A service core in the middle of the block shelters the stairs and the lift. Around this core, a corridor ring gives access to all the apartments.
Within the apartments, a facilities ring includes all humid spaces and storages, thus providing maximum flexibility in terms of layout to the dwellings. The space along the facade is a completely open space where the future users can decide where to put the different inner functions. Thanks to this design strategy it is possible for the users to buy a loft or an apartment with several sleeping rooms or to change the layout easily in the future.
The openings in the facades are designed specially to create a dialogue with the surroundings. There are three different opening sizes, each of them related to the interior space and acting as frame for the exiting situation.
THE PARK HOUSES:
The park houses are designed in a way that maximum transparent and open relation with the existing park is guaranteed. The separation between the private terrace in front of the park and the park itself is defined only by the pavement of the terrace, thus providing a very open relation living room – private terrace – park. A small hill will guarantee privacy within the houses in a natural way.