De Rokade / Arons en Gelauff Architecten

Architects: Arons en Gelauff Architecten
Location: Groningen, Netherlands
Design Period: 2003-2007
Construction period: 2005-2007
Programme: Apartments,
Client: Woonstichting (housing association) De Huismeesters, Groningen
Architectural Team: Joost van Bergen, Jan Bart Bouwhuis, Rianne Kreijne, Adrie Laan, Floria Schrage, Aldrik Stegenga, Mahir Dündar, Claudia Temperilli, Mariska Koster-Berbé
Landscape Architect: Kraaivanger Urbis
Contractor: Schutte Bouw, Zwolle
Budget: 9.600.000 EURO (US $14.9 millions)
Constructed Area: 15.400 sqm
Photographs: Allard van der Hoek, Peter de Kan

In 2003, Groningen municipal council launched a project “The Intense City” to keep the city compact by increasing the building density of districts around the Centre. The Rokade Residential Tower Block is situated on one of the first increased density locations, and marks the corner of the Corpus den Hoorn Laan and the Sportlaan, the avenue providing access to the Hoornse Meer district.

De Rokade is immediately adjacent to the nursing and care home, Maartenshof, which has been extensively renovated. The apartments for purchase are intended for the “younger seniors”. The building is linked to Maartenshof in a subtle way. In this way, Maartenshof can supply diverse forms of care to the buyers, without this delicate relationship being visible to the outside world.

Towers in often have a minimum of four dwellings per layer for budgetary reasons. This is also true of De Rokade. The building is 21 floors high and seems very slim due to the cross-shaped ground plan. The four apartments are situated in L-form around the inside angles of the tower. In this way, the dwellings combine the beautiful view with an introverted quality.

The apartments’ façades, load bearing construction and installations have been made ready for three different layout possibilities. The present and future inhabitants will be able to determine their own ground plan in this way. The building is extra sustainable according to Groninger Residential Quality directives.

Instead of an expensive and dark underground parking garage, we have elevated parking to the two floors above the physiotherapists’ practice accommodation. The inhabitants reach their parking place on the first or second floor with a car lift. The garage is naturally ventilated, has daylight and a view and, with construction costs of €15.000 per parking place, is cheaper than the traditional underground box.

Cite: "De Rokade / Arons en Gelauff Architecten" 03 Jun 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=1785>

10 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Insanely interesting. Compared to the SOHO project constructed by Chinese Architect Qingyun Ma, this one is a bit modest and rational

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Xing:
    Is this project already constructed? I would like to see how this gigantic building could be in reality

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hi,
    This is my first visit here. I would like to know what I should study to be in this field ?

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is an interesting proposal, a nine square problem set in a subtle yet very straightforward way.I find it an exceptional proposal among most of the housing projects seen recently here.

    First it deemphasizes the corridor and stairwell while striving to create a balance between it’s solid shear walls and it’s other openings, be they balconies or window panes, whereas the common approach would have been to glaze the entire perimeter.

    Second to have the openings face each other also has this apartment seem to face outward while looking upon itself at the same time.We usually are unable to perceive the exterior of any residential tower.

    Third, the whimsical circular openings also breakup the perception of the tower as a layered cake, giving each wall a uniqueness that has us see the entire structure as a perforated whole.

    As I said, a very interesting, well conceived and elegant project.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Oh Eugene, there’s so much to explore.

    This is a good site for a particular type of international architecture. Search around, find projects that interest you and study how and why they work. Look into those firms, what else they do, what themes they explore.

    Where and with whom did they study… it can be such a deep field of study if you explore with some thoughtfulness and clarity. Find your particular interest, and forge your own path.

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