Following their Europan 3 win on the Circus terrain in February 1994, S333 Architecture + Urbanism were commissioned by the municipality of Groningen in September 1994 to develop the underlying principles for a Structure Plan for the Circus, Bodem and Gasfabriek terrains (CiBoGa). This 14 hectare heavily polluted site rings the north-eastern edge of the city centre following the boundaries of the original medieval city walls. Working with the municipality, S333 identified the CiBoGa terrain as being part of a larger urban ring structure with its own history and independance, and highlighted its key role within the ecological structure of the city. The environmental directives established by S333 were further supported by the the city's desire to establish a policy of 0.5 carparking space/dwelling, a car-free zone throughout the site, and an initiative to replace the extensive areas of polluted ground with underground car-parking facilities serving both the future inhabitants of the site and visitors to the city.
The urban concept developed by the municipality extends the network of routes and views through the site. The municipality’s desire to establish ‘openness’ through an equal relationship between landscape and building was central to the success of the plan. However this ambition had to be negotiated with the market requirements for programmatic density. This led the municipality to create the concept of ‘schotsen’. A ‘schots’ is considered a compact building block eroded internally by new forms of semi-public space. Thirteen ‘schotsen’ are distributed across the site in an open landscape that operates as a filter zone between the city centre and 19th century housing extensions. S333 have developed Schots 1 and 2, which forms a strategic link in the city’s ecological corridor linking the canal with an existing urban park, as the first phase of the project on the original Europan 3 site.
Architecturally speaking, Schots 1 and 2 are conceived as voluminous urban forms sculpted by the existing movement flows, sight lines and the ecological corridor working through, in, and around the site. Supermarkets and smaller shops characterise the two ‘schotsen’ at street level, where above the building blocks evolve independently. Schots 1 is a robust multi-storey urban block centered around a variety of open and semi-open collective spaces, intersected throughout by a spatially intertwining gallery system to the apartments. In Schots 2, housing “above” is accessed by a sloping ‘ground surface’ that makes a seamless and landscaped transition from ground to first level. This achieves the concept of ‘ground bound’ market required housing that is not necessarily on the ground. For both urban blocks, an extensive range of housing types are created through a standard type that varies across the site according to light, orientation, access and its relationship to adjacent existing buildings.
The facades of both Schots 1 and 2 are conceived as singular material expressions complimented by a three dimensional envelope of various landscapes and outdoor spaces. Private gardens, vertical climbing ivy, patios, roof gardens, wintergardens, ramped surfaces, courtyards and playgrounds all play a key role in the two buildings overall appearance. The landscape is therefore not considered as something between buildings, but is rather inter-woven with the architecture as a planemetric layer. For Schots 1, a pixilated field of floor to ceiling glass panels forms a structuring modulation for the thermal shield, where a continuous pattern is created by using different types of glass with varying levels of transparency, reflection, opacity and colour. For Schots 2, the chosen material is western red cedar designed equally as a pattern of panels in conjunction with floor to ceiling openable and non openable windows. The combination of all these features should generate a desired chameleon effect of colouration and textures, over time.
Addresse: Kop van Bloemsingel, Botterdiep en Korreweg
Oplevering: Eind October 2002
Terrein: 1.3 ha
Programma: 149 woningen
3500 m2 commercieële ruimte
300 ondergronds parkeerplaatsen
Opdrachtgever: Development consortium IMA:
ING Vastgoed, Amstelland Ontwikkeling, Bouwbedrijf MoesBV,
Amvest Vastgoed en Nijestee Vastgoed
Architect: S333 Architecture + Urbanism, Amsterdam
Faciliteit Bureau: DAAD Architecten BV, Borger
Aannemer: Bouwbedrijf Moes BV
Semi-Openbare ruimte: S333 , Architecture + Urbanism, Amsterdam
Openbare ruimte: Alsop Architects, London
Ingenieurs: Ingenieursbureau Wassenaar BV
Installatie Ingenieurs: Vink Installatie Advies Centrum BV / DGMR Raadgevende Ingenieurs BV