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Open Building Experience 4.: “Berkenkamp”, Enschede, the Netherlands, 1988.

Inspired by our Keyenburg project in Rotterdam (1985) and the analytic study “Support Patterns for Enschede” the local housing association “Licht en Lucht” in Enschede decided to build a support/infill project near the city center. They chose for Open Building in order to respond better to the market by fixing the program just before building. Moreover to allow a change of dwelling sizes in the future. And of course they preferred free dwelling lay-outs for their occupants!

The project contains 229 rental units for singles, couples and families divided over 70 apartments in a high rise building, plus 61 flats and duplexes on street level and 98 flats and duplexes upstairs around two courtyards.

The local foundation for housing mediation (SWE) organized the infill sessions, led by two experienced architect-consultants of our Lunetten and Keyenburg projects.


After our earlier projects some new Open Building aspects had to be dealt with:

  1. The attachment of meters and a heater to the central shafts,
  2. The prevention of raised floors in bathrooms.
  3. The application of modular coordination in a non rectangular building structure.

Open Building Patch22, a highrise in wood

PATCH22, a 30m tall high-rise in wood, was one of the successful plans in the Buiksloterham Sustainability Tender in 2009. The initiators, the architect Tom Frantzen and building-manager Claus Oussoren,founded Lemniskade Projects to achieve independently what they had never been able to manage when working on commissions for their previous clients:  an outsized wooden building with a great degree of flexibility, striking architecture and a high level of sustainability, not because that was what was required but because that is what ought to be done.

The project was developed for their own account and risk in the middle of the crisis years of 2009-2014, and innovative financing solutions were conceived and implemented to meet this challenge. The project also incorporates numerous innovations in the technology used and application of technical rules, all aimed at achieving the desired flexibility without having to make compromises. Examples include the hollow floors and removable top floor, the lack of shafts in the apartments — achieved by having the piping and cabling taken horizontally to central shafts in the core — and agreements for a fixed ground lease with flexible positioning of the functions within the building. But the most unusual feature is the use of a wood as the main structure for the 30m-tall building. Moreover, the wood has largely been left visible, making this a key factor in the ambience of the apartments and the exterior.

Open Building Experience 3.: “Keyenburg”, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1985

On a plot in the district ‘Zuidwijk’ of the city of Rotterdam 152 rental apartments have been built for singles and couples, young and elderly: 115 two-person units of 48,60 m2, 32 one-person units of 41,85 m2, and 5 larger MIVA units for disabled people, all spread around a courtyard in 2 blocks of three floors and 2 blocks of five.

The owner, housing association ‘Tuinstad Zuidwijk’, wanted a support structure to allow the change of small units into bigger ones later on, what happened in 2004. For the renters they wanted a free infill of their dwellings to favor different ways of living.

The Keyenburg project (1985) was quite different from our previous support-infill projects Molenvliet (1978) en Lunetten (1981). It had a particular focus on cost saving by a simple building construction, a new infill cost calculation and a stringent application of modular coordination (MC) including building metrology. It has been the first official pilot project of a new Dutch MC standard, the NEN 2883.

It also applied new tools in the process of design and participation. The full scale infill model of the Eindhoven University has now been utilized very realistic in a hall near the building site and the office where the user consultation took place. And above all, a new computer program related drawings directly to cost and rent calculation so that users could decide immediately about infill and rent.


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