Europan 7

11 januari 2010
Prijsvraag i.s.m. Featuring Amsterdam

"The future is ours"

But is the nowadays common picture of the stereotype accomodation / lifestyle for the elderly, for us as the elderly of tomorrow, ours as well?

Already a fast analysis of the existing models of this special kind of housing demands a new visionary picture of our "home in the future"! Furthermore putting into consideration of having all our (preretirement) life some kind of individual lifestyle, but being forced of giving it up later for a collective one, in mostly anonymous settings, seems for us less attractive, than trying to assimilate our accus- tomed lifestyle into a stimulating social scenario.

The proposed project creates such a scenario in combination with individual qualities by offering the future inhabi- tants living in a small scale "individual house", but furthermore benefiting from its setting around a shared community centre - the hall.

Therefore - "the future is bright - the future is“ ours!

Urban strategy for Zuidwijk

Zuidwijk, a suburban district in the south of Rotterdam, with its strong resi- dential environments it is still a great example of the idealistic motivation of garden cities of the fifties and sixties. Its special spatial composition and especially its location between Zuiderpark in the north and the future Zuidelijk Randpark in the south offer a great chance of revitalising the spirit of garden cities - living in a city, but also in a green setting. Therefore the aim of the proposed urban restructuring plan is first to reassimilate the district into the city first, and second to reinforce the character of the garden cities. The present sky-line of Rotterdam has a clear and common shape of mostly post-war dominated developments - highrise in the city centre and lowrising housing towards the suburbs. The positioning of characteristic high- rise accents marking the edge of the city and rebounding the suburban district could work like the classical image of "city-wall-towers".

The specific character of the garden city Zuidwijk is in need of several redevelopment. First of all the district, located between two parks in north- south orientation, has the opportunity to function as a "green connecting zone".Therefore the possibility of opening up the existing public green areas, especially around the two green squares, the Asterloplein and the Van Tijenplansoen, and in the future "green middle-zone",will create more interplay with the peripheries and thereby support the image of a more extroverted district.

Beside these big public green areas, there is also the possibility that the collective green areas between the housing could contribute to the overall green image of Zuidwijk. Future redevelopment of the existing housing should therefore put into consideration, lifting up the ground floors from streetlevel to keep this level as much green as possible. Using the space of the middle-zone and along the district-outline a circulating water structure will improve the quality of the district as well as of the water itself.

The proposed plan also reorganises the middle-zone as a "green boulevard", with a connecting, more public character, along which facility buildings are detached. These buildings are supposed to get with their future redevelopment/restructuring a more icon-like impression to underline the importance of this "centre boulevard" of Zuidwijk.

Urban plan for the location

In the very south of the “boulevard”, in the MareRode's neighbourhood, where it intersects with the green periphery of the district, the proposed design for the new building on the location of the nursing home, is one of those icons.

The organisation and setting of it, and its supporting facilities on the location, are integrating all aspects of the general conditions of the urban planning. The buildings main volume is lifted up from the street level, so that the semi-public garden keeps its green character. The needed 78 parking places for the new building and the 36 existing ones on

street level are integrated in a underground garage, which is organised around organic shaped patios in the centre of all buildings on the location. The patios are reachable from the garden level with softlined slopes and through the garage. Furthermore the physical connection of all the existing and the new building is organised in a spacious hallway along the patio / garage. Further common facilities, like recreation hall, restaurant, nursing home, space for part-time care, etc. are all (re-)located in the new building.

Design of the icon

The design of this icon-like building for semi-independent care accommodation is based on the general ideas of offering the future inhabitants their accustomed individual lifestyle on the one hand and promoting a stimulating communal scenario on the other hand.

To create individual housing the design offers every inhabitant the identity of living in a house of his own - even in the stereotype image of a house! As far as living on one floor is recommended for elderly accommodation, there are "micro-communities" of minimum two and maximum four housing units. Thereby the biggest volumes embody also the most units with the biggest apartments. Beside the image of living in a "real house", and the possibility of individual identification, the quality of the floor plans and the physical and mental boundary to a communal centre - the hall, are the extra qualities of this new kind of accommodation for elderly. The housing units and especially their living spaces have all a royal orientation to their main facade, making it possible to fill this facade with a all over “panorama-window” to create a french-balcony situation.

Sitting there in the sun with a cup of coffee and watching the generous view over the garden and parks, or meeting our friends and neighbours in the circulation zones, the big community hall or the patio/garden is just the quality of lifestyle we are looking forward to find when we up for retirement!

Locatie

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