• Prix de Rome
  • Amsterdam
  • NL
  • 2000

The PrixdeRome Architecture 2000 preliminary demands in essence a public building for this specific neighborhood; “the (…) complex should be a place for local residents. The door is open for people of any nationality or culture”. It should even contribute to the mutual communication in a pluralistic urban society.

The project mainly concerns the self-evident transformation of an existing architectural entity and typical urban space.

1. The existing building is preserved as a spatial entity; as much space as is needed and preferably a little more.

2. The existing building and the disclosed garden are opened up by two large spatial incisions; relating the inner spaces of the building to its urban context and adding a closed collective garden to the urban structure. The building as well as the garden is made accessible from all sides.

The required program is distributed in a logical and meaningful way throughout the existing spatial structure; it matches perfectly. The complex appears as three separated volumes, connected by the basement. It functions as it looks; according to the needs of the occasion it could be one, two or three separated buildings.

The garden is planted with trees.

3. The exterior of the sections, the facades and the roof of the basement, as well as the rear wall of the adjacent interior spaces, are clad with slightly mirrored glass panels; creating a series of “Untitled Spaces”.

At day the images of the trees in the garden, the houses at the canal and the opposite parts of the building are equally multiplied by reflection on the double matrix of glass panels; projecting the surroundings into the building and the interior of the building to the urban context. The reflected images define the spatial quality and ambiguity of the exterior and interior of the building; it changes with the weather, the season, the time of the day, or with for example programmatical alternations. The facades present the image of the closed garden to the streets, and vice versa. Different shades within the building, caused by the different size and characteristics of the existing spaces, influence the intensity of the reflected images; creating an even more ambiguous relation between the architecture and its context.

At night the facades and the roofs of the basement loose its reflection and the interior of the building is fully revealed, multiplied by the interior reflections.