In 2006 VMX was commissioned to design a number of dwellings in combination with a complex of apartments and care for elderly people in Schalkwijk, Haarlem. An important aspect was how to respond to the surrounding post-war neighbourhood, which has been designed in a typical democratic tradition, with free-standing blocks and a lot of public space.
The program of ca. 50.000 m2 includes 112 buyers’ apartments, 56 expensive rental apartments for seniors (“extramural care”), 100 units in the light-care sector, and 50 units in the heavy-care sector. There was a demand to combine the rental apartments with the complex, while the buyers’ apartments, having a more varied target group, should be realized independently, next to the complex. This would make it possible for the seniors to get limited medical support without being stigmatized by the care. At the same time, a large diversity in housing types enables flexible living structures and interaction between different age groups.
The design takes its’ starting point with the qualities of the post-war layout; more specifically the public character, the green, the light and the space. A small-scale open structure has been realized by separating the program into six round towers. The towers of the buyers’ apartments are free-standing but grouped around an open courtyard above the half-sunken parking garage. The towers of the care complex are connected by a shared program on the ground floor, including recreational rooms, offices, examinations rooms and a large centre with a café, restaurant and shops. The six towers are therefore not completely disconnected, but tied together by shared spaces, protected areas, and the elements of the park; like jewels in a necklace. Hereby a coherent public space is created for the different user groups.
A large variation of housing types has been made possible within a coherent shape. While the circular exterior of the tower offers privacy and views, a feeling of unity and efficiency for the staff binds the units together in the centre. The façade will be treated with materials that underline the light and optimistic expression of the round towers in the park. This creates a unique and transparent complex that fluidly sits in the park-like landscape, with extrovert rooms that radiate optimism and pleasure of living.
|Client||Pré Wonen / Stichting Sint Jacob|
|Costs||31.5 million Euro|