Text description provided by the architects. The design of, on the one hand, an apartment complex with commercial functions and, on the other, a hotel-office building in the new Muziekkwartier (Music urban quarter) presents the opportunity to add a forth square in Enschede with a strong emphasis on a cultural programme. This fourth square is being designed according to the classical principle of ‘chambre en suite’ and, as such, will become both a place to linger pleasantly and a connection space between the Stationplein (square) and the Oude Markt (also a square). The Stationplein and the Willem Wilminkplein merge directly into one another with the two buildings resembling suite cupboards on either side of the place where the square meet. The public functions in the plinth extend the activities of the street.
The apartment complex is a massive brick building with an enclosed ‘inner garden’, a concealed niche in the city. This inner courtyard forms a collective user space between the street and the apartments, a hospitable space where it is possible for residents to meet one another.
The inner courtyard offers residents the opportunity to enjoy different styles of living. People can orient themselves outward to the lively street or alternatively inward, making use of the courtyard and the wide galleries that also serve as outdoor space for the apartments.
The apartments on the upper floors rest like a massive brick monolith with protuberances on the transparent plinth. The plinth of the apartment complex, where programme components such as catering facilities and shops are housed, has been materialized in wood and glass. The large wooden frames with various widths and heights refer to the traditional inner-city facades.