Library and community centre in a rural town in Flandres
Mass timber residential highrise in Westerpark area.
Stacked family housing block in Westerpark area
Urban research on flexibility and resilience in brownfield urban development area of Havenstad, Amsterdam.
Research project on dense self-built housing typologies
Singer Laren is an internationally reknown cultural institute that consists of a museum, sculpture garden and theatre, in the midst of the rural village of Laren.
Its heart is the 1911 villa of William and Anna Singer, American art collectors, and artists, who moved to Laren because of its artistic scene and the inspiring landscape.
After William's death Anna decided in the 1950s, to build a museum in his remembrance and to add a musical theatre. This was hard to keep up in the current cultural climate, due to spatial restraints and current technical demands.
A competition was organised for rebuilding the theatre. krft entered the competition together with Sanne Oomen with a design that revolved around a common foyer for all functions, a public square to the museum, garden and theatre.
The design connected all functionalities - museum, theatre and garden - in a covered, freely accessible 'living room' for the village. The foyer space, wrapped around a golden theatre box, has a wooden facade, which works as a voile, allowing scarce views from inside to outside.
In the design, the new foyer facade finishes the original outline of the complex, but keeps a distance from the villa, making the villa stand out as it originally did, but allowing for an new entrance in between old and new.
The theatre design is compact, intimate and flexible, in order to use the space for theatre, music and spoken word. This turns the space into a 'salle des fetes' for the village.
The wooden theatre interior, with curving walls refers to the inside of a musical element and is a logical result of acoustic demands for theatre as well as musical performances.
The theatre's finishing is made in warm cherry wood veneer and adds texture to the space to improve acoustics.
In the project, there was a strong focus on materiality, making a strong distinction between the functional elements - the theatre and museum - and the 'in between' - the foyer - by using unfinished, rough materials.
In the foyer, the entrance to the museum is topped by the Thinker of Rodin in its original position, guarding hell's gates.
A new public foyer and theatre hall in a rural context.
In the upcoming north part of Amsterdam, three young families took their chances during the financial crisis and decided to build together.
The process to come to a design has been carefully designed as well, to come to a perfect balance of shared and individual interest. After deciding on a shared building method, the designs have been individualized after personal agenda. This created three houses, part of the same family, but all very different.
All families all chose a specific spatial configuration, according to their individual way of life.
House nr 1 asked for a compact set-up, but still enough light in the heart of the house. A thin light well drags daylight to the bottom of the house.
House nr 2 has a clean split level, with the Japanese bath room hanging in the core of the house.
House nr 3 has a large canyon like space with a sculptural staircase in the middle.
The budgetary demand for simplicity in materials and detailing let to innovative solutions.
In the facade, the game of collective and individual expression is noted in the repetition of form, but change of material. All families chose their own material, but the same detailing was consequently applied.
The tryptique facade was an informal front facade, facing the garden on the south: a front and back facade at the same time. We translated this condition into a superveranda, a steel structure that worked as a coat rack for informal infill: balconies, green, solar protection - and secondly creating an in-between, informal zone between the facade and the garden.
Co housing project in former industrial area.
End of 2016, the Vuurtoreneiland restaurant reopened after a year of transformation.
Vuurtoreneiland is a magical place, an island where a fortress and a lighthouse is surrounded by the open waters of the IJ.
The masterplan should safeguard the unique combination of the history - as part of the UNESCO heritage of the Stelling van Amsterdam - and its open natural character, while at the same time allowing for it to be enjoyed by the public.
The inhabitants, a young family, are running a seasonal restaurant together with a renown chef, living in the only house on the island.
Open air theatre next to former ammunition bunkers that where transformed into small refuges where people can spend the night
View on entrance of the barracks, a new thin steel facade element was added
Floor plan of barracks after transformation
View on facade. The existing status of decay has been consolidated instead of renovated
Detail of floor and lighting
Toilet block as separate entity
Overview of masterplan and interventions
Night lights at Vuurtoreneiland
Exploring the island
Sustainable masterplan for former fortress island.
A new underground extension on the banks of the Rijn river.
At the edge of the Weerwater, the Kunstlinie building by Japanse architect SANAA, is a contemporary monument. A vast reorganisation created the KAF - a new space for theatre and art. This allowed for a reshuffle of program within the building, including a new space for contemporary art.
Image: Makkink & Bey tijdens 'House of Arts'
In the monumental architectural landscape, the southeast corner of the vast building is reserved for contemporary art. In order to make this possible, the existing office spaces have been transformed into exhibition spaces, by creating a circular routing towards and along the facade.
The original corridors is kept intact, but passes through a landscape of coulisses. This allows for flexibility, but keeps the original design concept of 'infinite rooms' intact.
A new passage along the spectacular facade makes a new circuit.
The unique construction, made of massive steel slabs, is left standing to keep an image of the original rooms. At the same time, these seemingly random slabs are perceived as objects on display themselves, exhibited in the open space.
Every exhibition space has a direct relation with the surrounding water.
René van Zuuk tijdens 'House of Arts'
Transformation of a contemporary monument into an art space.
Both museums share the context of the 17th century inner city of Haarlem. The urban fabric links both locations and turns the city into a part of the museum.
Both buildings share the need to reorganise its relation towards the city. We have been searching for public interior spaces that are freely accessible in order to mix city and museum.
Both building are in need of a wat of communicating with the city, in which the entrance is the most prominent character. A recognizable gate, designed alike, links the individual museums.
In De Hallen, activating the monumentale Vleeshal is step one. Opening the door is all that's needed. Secondly, we designed a new central access next to the public hall connecting all different levels.
The public hall is a flexibel space, in which empy space can be used in different manners to use it for exhibitions, cafe/shops but also as a place to walk around and wonder.
Next to the hall, a new vertical space is created by taking away the existing infrastructure. A room that links all rooms helps to understand the complex disposition of the different art spaces.
At the Frans Hals Museum, the courtyard garden is an undiscovered wealth for the city. A new entrance space, in between the museum and its public functions links the street to the garden.
The entrance space turns into an inner square surrounded by a cafe and shopsm but also educational acitivities for kids. From here, the garden is accessed by the 17th century gate on the north side of the museum.
The garden itself can become a playground for dialogue with the city: a hidden garden within the inner city, a space for public art and events.
Strategic transformation of two monumental buildings for contemporary and 17th century art.
Dutch Mountain is our first project, with which we started our previous studio, denieuwegeneratie, in 2008.
As a starting project, it has been an experiment in sustainable design on all aspects: landscape, building structure, energy, materials and user experience.
The main idea was to bury a house in an artificial mountain in the midst of an open space in the forest.
By closing it on the north side and opening up largely on the south side, the passive use of energy has been maximized.
The layout of the house is a simple open plan, an empty space in which the individual rooms are placed.
In the choice of materials, we have pushed for sustainable, local and/or reusable materials: wood from the surrounding forest, bio-based insulation, second hand plate steel.
Drawing attention since it has finished construction in 2010, it has been nominated for multiple awards and widely published internationally.
"The house is like a Murakami novel: an adventure without start nor end." - Jury report BNA gebouw van het jaar 2013.
A semi-enterred hypersustainable villa
De Appel Arts Centre, a reknown centre for contemporary art, has found a new home in a 18th century sailor's society building.
The building has a long history of sailors, socialists and hippies, whose stories are part of the building. Every new user adapted the building to its needs.
This resulted in a beautiful pastische of historical and less historical additions, changes and fashionable colors.
This transformation history of the building was the base for our design strategy. On top of the existing historical layers, a new layer was addded without removing the previous one.
We decided to celebrate this. Our design left all previous identities present, just adding a flexible, lightweight inner layer, useful for contemporary art. This layer has been left visibly seperate from the monumental context of the building, allowing for our strategy to be read.
By removing the large staircase on one side , we created an extra, 7m high exhibition space.
By adding a new sculptural staircase on the other side, all levels - cafe exhibition space and library are connected in one gesture.
Transformation of 17th century house to centre for contemporary art.
De Kleine Komedie ('the small theatre') is probably the most iconic theatre of The Netherlands, next to the Rembrandtplein, the originale theatre district of Amsterdam.
Dating back to the 18th century, the theatre has always been a homeground for popular theatre.
Since then, it has always been a homeplace for the theatre community and a birthplace for talent.
During its long history, the building had been transformed on multiple occasions, resulting in a cramped, messy public foyer in front of the iconic theatre hall.
We had been asked to clean up its public foyer, reconnect the differentiated spaces and give the iconic hall a worthful public image.
We did so by actiavting the existing and historical spatial connections in the building.
Transformation of an 18th century theatre.
Badel is a renown soft drink brand in Croatia, with a historical factory downtown Zagreb.
When moving to outer city limits, the former factory terrain has been abandoned. The city of Zagreb launched a grand competition for its redevelopment.
Our proposal was not to choose between an open or a closed city block. We superposed an open urban tapestry of public functions with a traditional housing block. With this, both qualities were added to the site.
An open ground level with freestanding volumes was superposed by a ring of housing, closing the block on a higher level.
Transformation of Zagreb inner city factory area.
The schools, all built around the 1930s, had a similar structure. The class rooms and sports halls allowed for an easy division into 24 housing units.
After a thorough renovation of the school buildings, the families all bought their empty casco space for individual construction.
Within the empty casco, the families created their own homes. krft assisted 8 of the 24 families in their design.
We applied a recurrent strategy: a freestanding box in the space structuring the space, creating extra living space on top and useable storage space within.
The same strategy had completely different results for the different families.
Elle Decor spent a 8 page special on the project in december 2015.
Transformation of obsolete school buildings into DIY apartments.
As a preparation for the 2015 EXPO in Milano, a competition was set up in 2012 for a small pavillion, a physical presence of the future event in the inner city.
We were interested in the close relationship between city and food. Once an unbreakable marriage, this relationship his lost, due to industrialisation and globalisation of the food market.
At the same time, this allowed for cities to reach the size they currently hold. A city solely dependant on its own surrounding lands for food is unthinkable, due to the current foodprint of its citizens.
We teamed up with Milano based studio B22 and came up with a design for a traveling pig shed, traveling towards the expo during the preparation period.
The shed, made out of wooden crates, was to be assembled, disassembled, moved and reassembled on a regular basis, creating a moving pavillion.
The pigs, its only permanent residents, would work on the land underneath the shed, turning the urban soil into useable farm land.
While traveling, the pavillion would not only be an attraction on itself, educating its visitors about the relation between city and food, but would also leave a permanent trace of urban farm land, to be used by the citizens of the surrounding neighbourhoods in the west of Milano, a postwar housing area.
The actual design was the crate. A multifunctional box, that could be a large Lego-type building block as well as a box useable for farming.
Traveling Pig Pavillion
Amsterdam West's tram remise had been an abandoned paradise for about 15 years, a place of ruin and beauty at the same time.
Once a working shed for maintenance for Amsterdam´s tram system, the place has a stunning beauty due to its large open spaces and abundant daylight.
As a development strategy, the insertion of a tower, a dense hotel programme, worked as a financial infuse, allowing for the expensive restoration of the monumental roof.
By taking out some of the weak spots of the complex in bad condition, open, green areas are created, scaling down the large mass of the building and providing daylight to all spaces.
It made possible that the rest of the complex could be used as unprogrammed, flexible space, allowing low-rent work spaces, shops, cafes to be changing regularly.
In 2010, after a 1 on 1 development competition, the city decided to grant the development to our competor, TROM. This was a bottom/up initiative of entrepreneurs and architect Andre van Stigt, who executed their development plans in the years after, resulting in a thriving neighbourhood hotspot.
Transformation of an obsolete train yard into a multi-use complex.
Munich is a city suffering from a typical European urban disease: the once multifunctional city centre is slowly becoming monofunctional, replacing housing with more lucrative functions such as offices and shops. This drains public liveliness from the Munich city centre.
New housing development are stalling due to the large land costs and the lack of useable development space. In our proposal we try to tackle these two issues together.
By using a small scale basic unit, turning complex inner city voids into spaces for development.
By using prefabrication, these units can be low cost. With different type of units, a large diversity of housing typologies (including low cost housing) can be set up.
As a window of opportunity, we propose to use the production line of the BMW factory in the city for this. In 2009, BMW had to lower its production output by 50% due to the financial crisis. That capacity can be used to produce housing, giving the housing units a fixed automobile related size.
Urban housing block constructed out of prefab units from BMW factory.
Items magazine used to be one of the leading magazine for design in The Netherlands. Their yearly selection of graduates is a tastery for upcoming talent. The 2012 graduates selection - unfortunately the last selection Items has been able to put together - was on display during the Eindhoven Design Week.
Together with graphic design collective Almanak, the visual editor of the magazine at that time, we designed the graduate exhibition, which was to travel around the country.
For this purpose, we designed a lightweight, easily movable system of exhibition furniture made out of CNC milled cardboard honeycomb sheets.
The product selection was ecclectic, colorful and divers and to be presented in a space that was likewise. We found a reference in an artpiece by Marijke van Warmerdam, using a plein white blank space as an intermediate between context and product.
Lightweight, traveling exhibition on Dutch Design talents.