• Competition
  • Apeldoorn
  • NL
  • 2001
  • i.c.w. Mark Snitker

1. The project intends to incorporate the typical spatial quality and structure of the city of Apeldoorn and the administrative culture of the Dutch “Poldermodel”. The project presents an urban development scheme that consists of a fine infrastructure, relatively small scale individual allotments and some larger collective urban spaces, which is almost rural in scale and appearance and flexible in time and program. The scheme remains open to future interpretation, without losing it’s specific spatial quality.

2. New infrastructural connections overcome some disturbing dead ends in the city’s road system. The infrastructure on the site becomes a large-scale roundabout, opening up the area and establishing it’s presence on an urban scale, while conforming to it’s existing spatial structure and topographical elements.

3. A fine network of cycling- and pedestrian routes stretches to and from every possible destination throughout the site and the city, relating the major spatial and topographical elements (like the canal, the brook, the railroad, the infrastructure, the existing built mass and the required open space) to each other and to the urban context.

(image: Daan van Golden, Aqua Azul, Amsterdam 1987)

4. Main roads are materialized as part of the urban road system, the network of cycling- and pedestrian routes will be specifically materialized. The materialization spatially defines the area as an inextricable part of the city as well as an autonomous spatial element in the urban context.

(image: Joze Plecnik, three bridges, Ljubljana 1933)

5. New bridges not merely connect; they form autonomous urban spaces.

6. As much as desired of the existing parcels and built mass is preserved, and preferably a little more. The remaining grounds are decontaminated and parceled out, considering the existing structure. Both collective- and individual parcels are laid out next to each other.

7. Collective parcels for parking are spread throughout the site, providing for the minimum of parking space required. Supplementary parking takes place on the individual parcels and in the streets. Parcels for parking are designed by architects who are approved by the state of the Netherlands, in order to create a series of valuable urban spaces.

8. Two larger collective parcels are deliberately placed on the site, fitting the existing structure of open and green collective spaces of the city of Apeldoorn.

(image: Robert Frank, Paris 1951-1952)

9. One of them should be a large open space, suitable for large-scale public events.

(image: Gerhard Richter, Atlas, 1997)

10. The other could be a series of public gardens, laid out along the canal like distinctive parcels, each one planted in a different manner, …

(image: Peter Fischli, David Weiss, 1999)

11. … but at least some of them planted abundantly with flowers.

12. Individual parcels are carefully laid out, fitting the urban scheme and defining scale and structure of future development. The parcels are sold to individuals, both corporate and private.

(image: Snitker/de Haas, Have a nice day, 1994)

13. The architecture of built mass on the parcels should be liable to compromising regulations, to be established depending on the prevailing taste, morality, public opinion or political ratio.

14. However, the urban scheme of infrastructure and parcels is in the first place intended to offer a great deal of freedom and flexibility in use, time and design, while preserving it’s spatial quality.

(image: John Baldessari, Six Colorful Inside Jobs, 1977)

15. The individual parcels should therefore be cultivated accordingly.

16. Different functions should be mixed radically along the site, considering of course specific environmental aspects and programmatical requirements.

(image: Candida Höfer, Festspielhaus Recklinghausen III, 1997)

17. Individual buildings could be autonomous, freestanding and extrovert, while others will be autonomous, enclosed and introvert. Many rooms will look out on the park…

(image: Mona Breede, Spielplatz, Karlsruhe 1997)

18. … while others deliberately will focus on adjacent urban spaces, in order to provide a socially safe environment.

19. Architecture could be anything: highbrow and fashionable, as well as popular and reminding of past times; plain smooth and simple next to richly textured or even decorated. One monumental masterpiece should be erected though. Mies’s unbuilt glass skyscraper at Friedrichstrasse should finally be built at the crossing of the railroad and the canal. The virtual icon of high-modernism and mother of all shiny and commercial redevelopment will become the new architectural icon of the city of Apeldoorn. A proper sign of the times: out of context in both time and place, but spatially adequately positioned and marketable architectural kitsch.

(image: Gerhard Richter, Atlas, 1997)

20. At times it’s glass facades would reflect the most famous and equally stunning Dutch skies; a special quality and esthetic pleasure even the most modest urban and architectural projects in the Netherlands get for free.