Text description provided by the architects. This mixed-use, retail led project occupies a prominent location in the centre of the new masterplan for Eschmarke, a small town on the outskirts of Enschede. The project includes 27 dwellings, shops, a supermarket and space for 93 cars. The requirement to maintain a simple plan while balancing the needs for private and public elements on a small site is solved by placing the private parking above the shops in a communal court. The court is linked directly to the street by a broad slope that can be used by cars, cyclists, and pedestrians.
The slope transforms into a broad spiraling staircase that gently rises up from the parking court to the upper levels of the building, linking apartments and private roof gardens by means of generous walkways with light wells, sun decks and private terraces. The spiraling ramp lends the building its strong silhouette and dramatic, tapered sides against a backdrop of existing beech trees. At street level, the ‘spiral’ concept extends around the building to organise the public parking within a playful design of hard and soft landscaping.
The façades are constructed using prefabricated elements to keep the total building costs below EUR 1000/m2. As one moves around the building, the curved facades, metal cladding and vertical timber profiles combine to produce an intriguing optical effect in which different materials interplay to generate a special identity to the project.