ALLOCATED GROUNDS 05 (this way Hoogvliet)

  • Wimby! (International Building Exhibition Rotterdam-Hoogvliet)
  • Rotterdam
  • NL
  • 2003
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Allocated Grounds 05 was conceived in relation to the ‘Campus Hoogvliet’, a project that was initiated by Wimby! and that explores the future spatial and programmatical possibilities for secondary education in Hoogvliet. Three different schools (Einstein Lyceum, Penta College and ROC Zadkine) wish to combine their activities and make them collectively accessible for others in a new development on the location near metro station Zalmplaat.

Allocated Grounds 05 questions the relevance of designing highly specific architectural complexes on the basis of a speculative functional program. It rather aims at a general and gentle urban reconstruction of the existing neighborhood, that incidentally provides for something that probably could be a school campus.

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The project also questions the doctrine of ‘the new’ and radical change that characterizes the current state of affairs in the Netherlands concerning architecture and urbanism in general and the urban redevelopment of post-war neighborhoods in particular. It rather proposes to look very carefully to what’s already there, take it out, dust it of, redefine its actual urban quality, spatial characteristics and possible actual spatial meaning and put it back in place again. It considers historical continuity as a major ingredient in the transformation of the spatial and built environment in general and it celebrates the precious and unique spatial quality of these post-war neighborhoods: the special quality of open and infinite urban space that could be described by the collective freedom of choice to move from a to b in many different, individual and more or less attractive ways. A more general urban quality that is most adequately presented by the artist Stanley Brouwn in his brilliant THIS WAY BROUWN series, and that was, as one could say, intensely explored by post-war urbanism.

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1. Tidal Channel
The project proposes to realize the so-called tidal channel: another Wimby! initiative to create a branch of the tidal river Maas right through Hoogvliet, creating a ‘dynamic landscape (…) of rising and dropping water levels, tide-land, waders, pikes, kingfishers, etc.’.

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2. Artificial Wasteland
The (re-)definition of the artificial landscape from the riverbanks to the Aveling, and further alongside the metro line… A blown-up ‘green joint’ (‘groene voeg’), that spatially relates Hoogvliet (the local), the Tidal Channel, and the river Maas (the global): an even, but unpolished artificial landscape without formal paths or other restrictions, free accessible for man and animal. One metro station is part of the landscape: a simple roof over the sloping grounds, accessible from all sides. One large heated pool (12×100m) for collective use can also be found, hidden in the landscape and overlooking the river Maas. Once it probably belonged to Rem Koolhaas, but was dumped here and forgotten while he went shopping.

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3. Stacking Grounds (serial collectivity)
Five architectural objects originate from the landscape. Five identical, overgrown constructions, continue the Artificial Wasteland (the ‘green joint’) into the neighborhood. They define, as a group, as pairs or single, specific places within the neighborhood and enhance the spatial and thematical relationship between these local places, the surrounding urban landscape and the world. Five identical, traditional concrete constructions (floors, slabs, columns) generate forty identical floors (40×1200m2). Forty floors generate numerous and over-measured shell spaces suitable for the realization of any conceivable program. Each single floor is provided with wide galleries all around that offer sufficient exterior space. The flat roofs are extra heavily constructed in order to hang the galleries, but also to provide extra exterior space or to offer the possibility of realizing extra floors or pavilions, creating a sort of necessary ‘elbow-room’ (Smithsons) within the building.

So Einstein, Penta and Zadkine all get their own specific spot, but identical building within the Artificial Wasteland, generating a spatial model that unifies both polemical possibilities, campus or single location, stated in the brief. Collective urban facilities for both schools and neighborhood will be distributed as wished over the different locations. Surplus space will be commercially developed.

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4. Campus
Tidal Channel, Artificial Wasteland and Stacking Grounds together could be considered the Campus the client demanded.

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5. Roads
Existing roads are redefined as nine self-contained linear elements within the urban scheme, and described by their physical length: a total of 2485 meters.

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6. Roads on site
Nine single linear elements recapture their original position within the urban scheme and together establish a coherent spatial structure: what’s already there is simply renamed, spatially redefined and will probably be materialized as such. All roads peter out into the landscape and the surrounding neighborhood. They refer to what’s further, to infinite space. In that sense they open up the Artificial Wasteland and establish its spatial, thematical and functional relation with the neighborhood. Strolling along these suddenly finishing roads one almost automically continues ones own path through the landscape…

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7. Paths
Footpaths, both existing and new, are redefined as eighteen self-contained linear elements within the urban scheme, narrower than roads, but similarly described by their physical length: a total of 3255 meters.

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8. Paths on site
Eighteen single linear elements recapture their original position or fit self-evidently within the urban scheme and together establish a coherent spatial structure: what’s already there is simply renamed, spatially redefined and will probably be materialized as such. All paths peter out into the landscape and the surrounding neighborhood; they refer to what’s further, to infinite space. In that sense they open up the Artificial Wasteland and establish its spatial, thematical and functional relation with the neighborhood. Strolling along these suddenly finishing paths one almost automically continues ones own path through the landscape…

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9. Through Roads (short circuit)
Some existing roads are connected in order to infrastructurally connect the campus with the surrounding neighborhoods and the rest of the world, but respecting the existing spatial structure and identity of single neighborhoods separated by ‘green joints’.

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10. Infrastructure
All formal (roads an paths) and informal (Artificial Wasteland) infrastructures in one view.

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11. Parking
Parking facilities for 850 cars fit in the existing urban scheme and the structure of roads and paths: collective, linear urban spaces that will accommodate several activities.

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12. Collective Gardens
Collectively accessible rectangular gardens are privately situated between the different building blocks, both existing and new, as a sort of small and raked over pieces of Artificial Wasteland. They fit smoothly in the urban scheme and accommodate passer-by. Together with paths, roads, parking places, landscape and surroundings they establish a continuous, open, informal and collective spatial structure and infrastructure along the neighborhood: a redefinition of the original urban scheme.

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13. Bridges
Four bridges, sojourning spaces in their own right, continue the Artificial Wasteland into Hoogvliet. Moreover they complete the spatial image and identity of both campus and neighborhood alongside the Aveling (Yorkstrasse 0,125 meets Plecnik).

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14. Open Space
The open space and informal infrastructure of Allocated Grounds 05 in one view.

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15. Building Lots (existing and/or new)
Existing lots are redefined and enlarged in order to offer the inhabitants of the single buildings the opportunity to collectively manage a bit of exterior space around their homes. Besides it leaves open the possibility of realizing other typologies, right now or in the future, but preferably not all at once. Some new lots are added, but only as far as they fit in the original scheme.

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16. Individual Gardens
Small individual allotments are defined within the scheme for differentiation and to fulfill a certain programmatical requirement. They are attached to individual dwellings, adjoining the collective gardens.

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17. Closed Space
Building lots and individual allotments, both not accessible for everyone, in one view.

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18. Existent Mass
As much as possible of the existing buildings should be maintained.

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19. New Mass
Potentially new building mass, if as much as possible of the existing buildings will be maintained.

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20. Mass
All built mass in one view.

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Allocated Grounds 05 (THIS WAY HOOGVLIET)

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