The commission was for a building for after-school care for 10 children in special youth care (aged from 6 to 18, non-residential) with a staff room on the first floor.
Apart from the project definition, the assignment was to both find a connection with the existing buildings (terrace houses) and to create a passage/transition to an urban park. We chose not to add an end volume to the row which would have been at the expense of valuable trees, as they fill and complete the already existing gabariet. We reversed the logic: we leave valuable green for the city; we don’t make terrace house typologies and created a pavilion in the garden This pavilion is rooted between the trees and the green. By using the garden wall as a main theme there is almost no physically present building.
By deliberately choosing for the type of pavilion and garden wall theme, we have created a larger space visually and the green remains effectively present. The interplay between the two functions, city park and day centre, is an added value for both, but also for the local urban fabric. All functions are clearly delineated but are still spatially coherent. The skylights in the outer wall on the park side increase the social control in the park’s direction guarantee a friendly atmosphere and do justice to the name of the project, the Ark.
Every building material (concrete, clay and wood) were used primarily, whereby the processing is also the finishing (low Co2 & cradle to cradle). As an ecological concept, we have allocated the star role to the existing tree mass. They give the building a healthy micro climate. Rainwater from the roof is caught in the enclosed patios and a green roof. By choosing a porous ‘green’ surface, whereby water and leaves are given free rein, we provide natural infiltration of rain water.
The Ark is a protected environment from the outside World. The trees and garden wall form a perfect buffer. The trees provide ‘oxygen’ and the garden wall offers ‘security’. The outhouse becomes a home.