Despite the structural and personal care the residents need they are committed to lead a normal daily life as much as possible. Recognizing this we designed and organized the different required spaces in a simple and domestic way. The individual apartments with private bathrooms are grouped around a communal hall leading towards the central living room with a shaded balcony and a kitchen. This sunny central space orientated to the south is the place to meet, play games together, enjoy the street views or simply watch television on your own.
In reference to a former abbey (Abdij van Rijnsburg; 1133-1574) situated on this site (and sadly already disappeared for a long time), the facade is made up of a pattern of intertwining horizontal and vertical elements in different materials and colors. In this way we avoided making a closed box with holes. By showing and interweaving the needed elements like breastworks, bearing buttresses and floor edges we achieved a balance between solid and openness. With a nod to the past.
Inspired by the abbey cloister a green communal courtyard is designed between this building and the adjacent apartment building at the Smidstraat. A glazed corridor functionally separates the garden from the street, still permitting an open view from the public domain onto the garden and vice-versa.
First and foremost the building functions as an social pivot point. It represents the existing neighborhood and gives the new urban setting a contemporary appearance. It invites us to come in and use the communal spaces, both inside as outside. On top of that the building is energy efficient. Although the facade looks open and light it is highly insulated with triple glazed windows and has a high thermal mass. The building is amongst other things equipped with solar panels, a geothermal heat pump and a ventilation system with heat recovery.