Rotterdam’s Cube Houses, an iconic building designed in 1984 by Dutch architect Piet Blom, has been renewed and transformed into a new Stayokay hostel. The building consists in 38 small cubes and two bigger ones all attached to each other.
The expressive and colorful cube-shaped houses on concrete pillars are located right in the heart of the city, near the ‘Old Harbour’. Spending the night in a tilted cube is quite a unique experience. In addition to the 49 spacious rooms, Stayokay Rotterdam also has a restaurant, bar and two rooms for meetings and workshops. The interior concept of Dutch designer Edward van Vliet (SEVV) was used as a starting point. Kees van Lamoen and Personal Architecture were the rebuilding architects. More images, after the break.
PS: In the last Mark Magazine there’s an article with interviews to people who have lived in remarkable buildings, and the cube house was included.
The Dutch have been fighting the rising and falling tides for centuries, building dikes and pumping water out of areas that are below sea level. Now, rather than fight the water infiltrating their land, the Dutch will use it as part of a new development called ‘New Water‘, which will feature the world’s first floating apartment complex, The Citadel.
This “water-breaking” new project was designed by Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio, and developed by ONW OPP/BNG in the Netherlands, and will use 25% less energy than a conventional building on land thanks to the use of water cooling techniques.
As if it was a mix in between Huxley | Orwell story, Atelier Van Lieshout from Rotterdam is developing this project since 2005. Just like in Brave New World, future society is an embodiment of the ideals that goes beyond ethics and liberty, and the artwork it’s obviously influenced in the scripts of fiction books from the early XX century, like mentioned Huxley’s Brave New World, Orwell’s Men Like God or maybe some D. H. Lawrence novels.
Let’s hear what they have to tell us after the break
Our friends from FARO Architecten sent us their latest project, a new building school completed in Netherlands. The Koningin Beatrix- en Prinses Marijke school in The Hague was officially opened by a member of the cabinet minister Rouvoet.
In the heart of the Schilderswijk in The Hague, a new school has arisen at the site of the previous school building that had to be demolished. The new building houses two elementary schools, each with 16 classrooms, nursery schools and gymnasiums.
Architect’s description and more images after the break.
We just received this from OMA: After almost 12 years in the boards, OMA announced that the De Rotterdam complex will enter construction during December 2009, expecting completion in 2013.
Tree stacked towers with a total height of 150m, will result on a gross floor area of approximately 160,000m2, making De Rotterdam the largest building in the Netherland, with a total cost of €340m.
The mixed-use program (offices, apartments, a hotel, conference facilities, gym, shops, restaurants, and cafes) and the resulting density make this project a vertical city, located in the old harbour district of Wilhelminapier, next to the iconic Erasmus bridge.
With the city of Almere’s growth expected to require thousands of new residences, work places and related facilities, MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate such drastic expansion. MVRDV’s Vision 2030 will create a framework to satisfy the growth for about 20 years. ”The structure vision for Almere is more than an urban master plan…” said Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere, “…it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. The expansion is not a quantitative effort. Even though the number of 60,000 new homes is impressive, the main objective is the addition of new qualities. Almere wants to serve the demand of the Randstad and at the same time needs the chance to develop into an ecologic, social and economically sustainable city”.
The Netherlands-based Cepezed Architects were recently appointed by the offices of the Hague Capital of Culture to design a temporary theater. The city strives to be named the European Capital of Culture in 2018, so the architects have created a contemporary version of the Roman Colosseum to become an important icon for the area.
How and what can architects and urbanistst contribute to the way we live in cities? What is the Open City? How do people work, think, dream and act there? And why is it urgent to re-imagine the Open City?
We all know that the Dutch are experts on reclaiming land from the sea. And with all this new land, come new cities. One of these is Almere, a city founded in 1984, which is growing fast into becoming the fifth largest city in the Netherlands. This growing city is now into the process of consolidating a new center, Olympiakwartier, envisioned on a larger master plan for a sustainable city by Mecanoo.
By 2030, Almere expects to grow into a city with a stronger identity and a total of 350,000 inhabitants, which involves the building of 60,000 new homes and the creation of 100,000 new jobs for the expected 150,000 new inhabitants. For this, Amsterdam based housing association Housing Stadgenoot commissioned MVRDV to be planner for 60,000m2 work space, 120,000m2 housing (1,000 homes), 15,000m2 education, 2,000m2 commercial space, 2,640 parking spaces and various public spaces. This total has been split into 93 volumes of which MVRDV will design 45. The plan demands individual development of the buildings: a dense mix of living and working leading to a complex urban condition. Retail, a public square and communal gardens are also part of the comprehensive plan which introduces inner city life to the mostly suburban typology of Almere. Flexibility is a key objective: All ground floors and part of the office and apartment buildings are designed to facilitate future change of use. In this way the owner, Stadgenoot, can adjust the district more and more to the needs of the growing new town and its inhabitants.
The remaining 48 buildings (500m2 to 5,000m2) are going to be designed by a selected group of 24 international practices, including established and emerging offices (see list after the break).
This project is very ambitious, with the potential of becoming a milestone on urban planning, apart from recent mega projects by groups of architects we have seen lately, which can be very innovative in terms of form or solving individual housing problems, but lack of a clear master plan that make all the individual architect’s efforts act as a whole. It sort of reminds me of the Weissenhof Estate, lets hope this one becomes an example for future architects.
The Dutch firm Monolab has designed a tower to rise 450 meters out of Rotterdam’s Maas Harbour. Noting the city’s existing buildings as being “primitive and of mediocre quality,” the firm seeks to introduce “an ambitious and pragmatic” structure to the city.
Dutch architects MVRDV strike another one with a new mixed use project in the new inner city heart for the Laurens Quarter, the pre-war centre of Rotterdam.
The project, comissioned by Provast, includes an open air market, that due to new hygienic constraints of dutch laws has to be covered. It also includes 246 residences, that form an arc that covers the open market area.
This results on a 3,000sqm retail area, with a 1,600sqm catering area on the ground level and first floor, a 1,800sqm supermarket and an underground car park for 1,100 cars.
The interior face of the arc will be covered with LEDs for an ever changing interior. The front and backside are covered with a flexible suspended glass facade, allowing for maximum transparency and a minimum of structure.
This new icon for Rotterdam is expected to be completed in 2014. More images after the break.
The Biotope converts the remains of an old water purification plant in an ecological mixed use development. Conceived as an ecological education centre, the Biotope will be the home for eco-related institutes like IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), for several schools of Amsterdam, for residential spaces and for sport facilities.
Dutch practice, Sponge Architects sent us their latest residencial project: Villa Panorama, where you can “enjoy the country life in a home where your dream landscape reveals itself before your own eyes”, as they say.
See some more images and drawings after the break.
Amsterdam City Council recently held ‘The Silo Competition’ which involved the adaptive and reuse design for two former sewage treatment silos in the city’s Zeeburg district.
For the competition NL Architects proposed silos dedicated to climbing, sports and culture. In their design the existing structures were extended to the maximum height to benefit from the views.
The cultural silo consists of two theaters with dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces, spaces for workshops, exhibition spaces, music studios and a space for hair design. A bridge connects the silos at the height of the original roof level and office spaces will be positioned on top. The top level will be dedicated to a restaurant with 360 views and a roof terrace.
“The Architect develops…” is an exhibition of plans for the experimental housing plots in the Homerus Quarter in Almere-Poort. The Homerus Quarter is a new residential area, designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, which is completely realized by private sponsorship.