Assen, the Netherlands
size: 15000 m2
urban design, mixed use
The Groeibriljant. A step-by-step approach of urban planning and architecture. This grow and thrive strategy means that the current design will be reused. We proposed to develop the Havenkwartier on the basis of the spatial structure of the existing building plots. Just like a ‘groeibriljant system’, this strategy begins small, but will gradually grow. The development activities will not be carried out by a central authority, but by the current owners, citizens or local entrepreneurs. We do not want to propose any rules for such developments to promote a consistent picture, but instead each party can have their own identity. A strongly diversified architecture will result. Presented without a fixed building programme, the architecture near the new harbour may suit a variety of functions: commercial purposes, housing, offices.
Just like ships the buildings will be moored alongside the wooden pier which continues in and over the building. The basis for the design is the footprint of the maximum cubic content. This content volume is divided into bite-sized building bricks. Depending on their needs users can choose to combine these bricks. Several blocks have been removed beforehand to enable access and to let in light and fresh air. Instead of making a big architectural statement, the buildings have been developed to meet the wishes and requirements of the users. The buildings have a subdued and practical materialisation.