The intervention at the urban ‘heart’ of Marne et Gondoire aims to the evolutionary, rational, comfortable, flexible and environmental transformation of the space. The Saint-Jean site hosted untill very recently the activities of the Lagny Hospital. It is a complex canvas of existing buildings, green spaces, parking areas and zones to be entirely reshaped. The park is literally the heart of the master plan. It is the element that achieves the continuity of the built-space and the natural landscape.
The project consists in three separated terrains, connected by green zones. A typology of park houses adapted to the site of the Saint-Jean park is proposed. The park penetrates into the interior of the lots, generating interior gardens that either are composed by dense vegetation or create shared open spaces that invite the residents to participate in common activities. Several footpaths and water paths act like guiding lines across the lots. These elements create vital transparencies in favor of the transverse connections between the center of the lots and the open spaces of the master plan.
The Meelfabriek was created as an industrial complex in 1883, its expansion continued in phases for 100 years until production eventually ceased in 1988 when the facility was closed down. The complex has become a national monument because of its importance to the industrial heritage of the Netherlands.
Located in the centre of Leiden, the site has long been neglected and inaccessible for the city. Today, the project strives to reconnect the site with its surroundings, creating a new vibrant urban fabric of living, working, recreational and retail facilities.
The project is composed of twelve buildings that will house a 120-room hotel, spa & wellness centre, loft apartments, shops, offices, gallery spaces, artist workshops, and exhibition space. A first master plan of the area was designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. Studio Akkerhuis is now taking the project to the next level with a sensitive approach to the architectural and historic value of the buildings.
These icons of industrial archaeology are therefore being conserved and they will be redeveloped as spaces with new uses. While the project calls for the preservation of the valuable structures of all the buildings, the facades will be restored and adapted to their new functions. The use of materials such as concrete, steel, and glass relate to the original industrial character of the complex.
We’re delighted to announce this year’s WAN #Facade Award jury. Four industry experts who will have the tough task of selecting the shortlist and winner of this prestigious award.
Find out more about this year’s jury here –
The WAN Facade Award 2016 jury includes:
Damian Rogan – Associate Director Eckersley o’ Callaghan
Jennifer Dixon – Head of Architecture Design@AECOM
Bart Akkerhuis – Founder Studio Akkerhuis
Dennis Ho – Principal HASSELL
Re-Generations is an utopia, an interactive urban simulation game, which was developed to be shown for the first time at the architecture biennale of Lyon in June 2017. The players, literally entering the installation, find different tasks and scenarios on their way to develop an urban environment and ecosystem. Different measures have to be taken to deal with simulated problems and chain reactions while always facing the so-called “earth overshoot day”, representing the stage beyond which the planet’s annual capital of regeneration will be exhausted.
A game is won once a player manages to postpone this point of no return by innovating and finding solutions to the different issues at stake. For ten days, this collective experience will simulate the ecological transition of a territory over a period of 50 years.
The installation of Re-generations, an interface of science, art and architecture, will move on to be shown in different places, to create awareness for the issue of urban development and to be an object of discussion and exchange.
More information here.
The Shard – London Bridge Tower
Associate, lead architect for exterior enveloppe
Yongsan Landmark Tower
Seoul, South Korea
Associate in charge, lead architect
Hong Kong, China
Associate in charge, lead architect
City Center Bishop Ranch
San Ramon, USA
Associate in charge, lead architect
The Art Institute – The Modern Wing
Recently, a run down hotel located directly on the beach was taken over by Michiel and Martijn van den Berg. The brothers have enlisted the help of architect Bart Akkerhuis of the Paris based Studio Akkerhuis, in collaboration with Miriam Irle and Studio Molter, both from Munich, to transform the exterior and interior of what was the former Hotel Clarenwijck, built in 1904.
VESPER, which means «evening star», is used from the moment that the sun sets, the sky turns violet and the stars show themselves. The breathtaking lobby, whose entire length overlooks the ocean, features a long cocktail bar. The brass and steel cabinet behind the bar, designed by Studio Akkerhuis, runs from the basement to the roof and covers the entire back wall of the lobby and continues into the volume of the building. This sculpture extends from the open space of the bar and reaches the ceiling above the second floor, where a 1920 stained glass roof light illuminates it. Accompanying this spatial element, a bespoke stair leads to the upper levels. The transparent treads are made out of glass to allow the natural light to reach the lobby and the bar.
All floors were entirely replanned to allow generous rooms and the new lobby. On the ground floor, the facade was opened entirely towards the sea to maximise the views of the ocean. The openness of the lobby and the bar as well as the sculptural shelf is visible from the boulevard and invites people to discover the space. It is not a conventional lobby; architects and owners decided to create an open space that works as a café, restaurant and bar welcoming travellers as well as locals to meet round the clock.
The choice of furniture is a pleasant composition of old and new. Design classics such as Egon Eiermann chairs and original vintage 1950’s Eames go along with bespoke designed marble tables and Dutch and Danish design. Different colored areas alternate with darker and warmer zones in the lobby to define a diversity of ambiance. Antiques personally sourced by the architects from flea markets in France and Holland complete the diverse pallet of styles.
The 27 rooms are all uniquely designed and surprise with their intense colors. There are blue, green, red, magenta, white and even yellow walls and matching furniture to create diverse atmospheres and identities. They feature vintage design furniture, handmade mattresses and luxurious bathrooms. The mostly open bathrooms provide light and spaciousness to the rooms, some of which have a sauna or a complete spa. Special features as flush bathtubs and showers in front of a sea view window add to the uniqueness of each room. The handmade beds and pillows are specially designed for Vesper.
The future Kaunas M.K. Curlionis Concert Centre needs to become a thriving place. To achieve this we create a new promenade, public park and square along the borders of the river Nemunas. Sliding over each other like tectonic plates or an ice flow, they form the steps from the waterfront up towards street level. A promenade takes the flaneurs all the way up to the roof of the Foyer, where a majestic view over the old city and its monuments takes centre stage.
The three venues the main concert hall, the secondary hall and the conference centre are like stranded boulders on the river bank. Each is recognizable as a separate entity in the folding landscape. Together they ensure that the volume of the Concert Centre is in keeping with the scale of its immediate context and the surrounding districts.
We envisage bustling river banks; the park with its amphitheatre together with the public square and the communal foyer become a place to meet and to share, to socialize and to participate throughout all seasons. They become a place for people to develop the vibrant life of the Kaunas community.
This landscape overcomes the difference in height from the river level to the new datum of the project with a combination of ramps, stairs and plates. It is designed in such a way that it can adjust to the various river levels during the four seasons.
The park is more mineral on the north. Towards the west the park becomes natural and green. Here it gives space to an outdoor amphitheatre for 1500 people. Further west the park makes a gradual transition into the existing natural river banks. The park establishes an important connection between the riverbanks and the surrounding Aleksotas neighbourhood.
For the conversion of a former lampshade workshop into a contemporary art gallery, Studio Akkerhuis wished to respect and maintain the features of the original space while adapting the layout to the need for the new exhibition space.
The interventions are minimalistic. The materials used for the renovation are basic: untreated black steel, raw concrete and glass. A storage volume is placed in the central area.
Together with the new entrance directly off the 18th century courtyard, a sequence of spaces and passages is created, each with their individual character and qualities. The passages are very suitable for intimate viewing whilst the first larger space has the character of a French salon and is suitable also for video projection.
The largest space at the end of this sequence is the ‘loft’. With its six-meter high ceiling and large walls it is perfect for larger installations and artworks. Towards the end of this space a free standing wall terminates the perspective from the street: through the courtyard, entry and gallery spaces, one can see the artwork. This will visually draw visitors into the gallery. Behind this wall a semi public storage space is created. Like a Parisian bric-a-brac, visitors can browse through the gallery’s precious reserves, wondering if they can find a little ‘catch’. A bespoke black steel stair is designed to give access to a mezzanine.
The project brief asked for a landmark building that would be globally recognized as a symbol of Serbia’s bold vision for its future and a testament to the resilience of the city of Belgrade. The scheme includes a 5-star boutique hotel and branded residence towers. Situated at a prominent location next to the Old Sava Bridge on the river boardwalk, it boasts views towards the water on the West, the old town on the North and the Belgrade Waterfront with its iconic Kula tower towards the South. The building has a pure and distinguished form with its elevated podium and residential towers. Hotel and conference facilities are arranged around carefully designed patios that bring natural daylight in the center of the complex and serve as connective elements between the multistory podium and its green roof. A pool situated on the first floor of the podium will have a prominent presence through a system of visual connections towards the exterior, the patio and the ground floor. Its 21st century architecture will match the ambition of Belgrade and its waterfront development, ready for the Serbian capital to enter a new era of prosperity.
The competition was organised by EDF and the awards ceremony was held at the magnificent Base Sous-Marine at the Biennale 2017 ‘Agora’ in Bordeaux. The trophy was handed to the team by Jean-Pierre Frémont, director EDF Collectivités.
Studio Akkerhuis is always looking for ambitious and talented interns to work with us on exciting and challenging projects across the globe. Please send your cv and porfolio to the adress below.
CVs can be sent by email (max 20 pages and 10mb) to firstname.lastname@example.org
or by post to Studio Akkerhuis, 11 rue Pastourelle, 75003 Paris
Hard copies sent by post give a better impression and if they are accompanied by a suitably stamped envelope they will be returned.
For millennia cities have experienced a natural growth, with their urban fabric steadily developing around a market square, the city hall, a temple or a church. The industrialisation in the 19th century has accelerated the growth of our cities, culminating over the last fifty years in the rise of the mega city. Suburban sprawl, vast stretches of lifeless city blocks and ghettos are a direct consequence of this rapid growth.
Our proposal is to develop a new generator for the urban fabric and for city life. Inspired by the ancient city square and its farmers market, it will be a new powerful machine creating a sense of a true downtown. The reason is clear and deeply human: people need to meet each other, to experience the kind of energy and magic on which the notion of a city is fundamentally based.
Accessibility, urban morphology, diversity, identity, flexibility and density are identified as characteristics important to the growth and survival of today’s successful cities. These qualities are integrated in the framework of the project to insure a rich, powerful and interesting urban grid ready for a future in which it can adapt to the needs of future generations to come and act as a sustainable model for urban growth. The building is conceived as a traditional town square that develops into the sky and connects on multiple levels with its surroundings. The spatial organisation and its development are dependent on the transport infrastructures, which traverse the building. This infrastructure is its ‘raison d’être’: it is the modern city square, its boulevard and small streets connect its urban fabric.
We propose a new kind of space, around the connecting spaces and in between the urban fabric. This newfound space is neither inside nor outside: we call it IXterior space. It is where the new machine will thrive and finds its energy.
Like the piazzas, the boulevards and the little backstreets of the old medieval towns this is where urbanity thrives, where the town comes alive and fuels its neighbouring quarters with city life. It is the urban machine, the powerful generator of vibrant city life, a creator of energy and magic, on which our successful cities are based.
With this urban study for the city of Noordwijk we presented possibilities for a modern residential area of a midsize city. The design of this new area for 600 residential units questions the limits between city and countryside and defines the contemporary conditions and needs for modern living.
The conception of the masterplan is based on a typology of multi-housing of varying density. The idea of communal gardens and amenities emphasizes the responsibility and initiative of the inhabitants, creates community awareness and questions boundaries between collective ownership and personal possession.
The new museum for the Bauhaus in Dessau is an exciting and a challenging task. How to exhibit a school? The impressive archive of the Bauhaus, representing the philosophy of its teaching and different developments, plays the central role in the design. Where does the public space of the museum meet service and logistics, where can storage and restoration of artworks, workshops and exhibition overlap and intertwine, creating a new space for teaching?
Like at the Ponthus Hultén Gallery in Stockholm the archives can be made visible to the audience and become part of a dynamic exhibition concept. The building is designed as a pavilion in the park. Being modest in scale but as well iconic in its silhouette, the museum opens to the park and defines the streetscape of Kavalierstraße with an urban front. The internal organization follows a clear division into three strands. Here, the central part works as a « backbone », that ensures internal circulation of the building and creates interfaces between the different spaces. The exhibition area allows a large-scale hall with a large variety of configurations.
The simplicity and flexibility of the design not only ensures its feasibility but also provides the possibility of the project to develop further along with Stiftung Bauhaus and to let arise a museum with international reputation. Prefabricated in concrete shells the recognizable arched roof structure allows maximum flexibility in the exhibition area and leaves an exposed structure visible. The system integrates both the supporting structure and ventilation as well as a perfect indirect ambient lighting with punctual lights allowing the staging of individual artworks.
After designing the beach theatre in 2015 Studio Akkerhuis was appointed again by the association Kunstklank to develop a reusable mobile theatre – covered and able to host up to 350 seated spectators and a small orchestra. The structure should be able to be assembled by volunteers in a few days.
We developed a kit of bamboo poles of different diameters but never longer than 5,80 m to be able to store or ship them anytime in a 20 feet standard container. The round theatre shape of 20 m in diameter contains a central stage, up to 24 tribune modules and the main tent construction of 7 m height, which is covered with a light translucide and waterproof cloth. The bamboo connections are done with classical Manilla rope.
The space is intimate but also allows parts of the scenography to take place outside the central stage due to the flexible configuration. The cushions on the tribunes – a red reminiscence of classical theatres – stand in beautiful contrast to the bamboo and the white cover.
The first performance in July 2017 was the opera “Dido and Aeneas” on the beach in Noordwijk. After two weeks the structure was dismantled and stored for its next use.
Forming a crucial edge to the Meelfabriek complex, the Molengebouw and Riffellokaal buildings form a dialogue with the main piazza, the parks and the new neighbouring residential buildings. The combination of brick facade, ribbon windows and the elegant prefabricated steel frame combine to create a building with significant industrial heritage within the complex.
The aim of the project is to preserve, restore and reveal this historical value. Through a sensitive intervention, the exposed steel structure will become the main feature of the interior space, emphasizing the industrial character of the complex; the restored slender steel windows will receive new French balconies designed to integrate and preserve the horizontal lines of the building. The brick facade will include new fenestrations adapting to the building’s residential function, which will offer spectacular views on the City of Leiden, the parks and the water. The loft apartments are designed to be as open as possible, offering flexible and vibrant living areas characterized by double height spaces, two-sided orientation and winter gardens.
A steel and glass extension on the rooftop, hosting an extraordinary penthouse, is the new linking element that turns the two existing buildings in one articulated complex. The commercial ground floor is conceived as a continuous open space that flows between the steel structure and connects the master plan public spaces through a public passage. From here two new service cores provide the vertical circulation for each building up to the roof extension.
Too bad we could not join our friends and partners @ ArchiWorkshop/Spacetong on stage in South Korea this week to collect our award in the international competition for Nodeul Island, Seoul. Well done to the team!: Studio Akkerhuis & AVA Paris, Spacetong/Archiworkshop Seoul, Buro Happold Hong Kong/Beijing, Theatre Projects Consultants London/Paris and Après la Pluie Paris. Images by Anima.
The team past and present:
Lise Le Roy
Claire de la Sayette
Maurits van der Staay
Viviane Le Deunff
Maria Mora Muniain
Jérôme Vuarchex (models)
Séverine Aubert (models)
The Bries Beach Club is a modular pavilion completely dismantled for winter and reinstalled each summer. The main part of the building is a large open space, which is orientated towards the sea. The interior can easily be divided into three separate volumes to accommodate different functions. Adjacent, 12 modular units made out of crosslaminated timber ‘plug’ into the main space. These units house secondary functions like kitchen, toilets, office and storage and are connected together with a textile membrane. The units are dimensioned in size and weight so that they can easily be picked up by forklift and transported over the beach towards their winter storage. The human scale and the wooden finish of the units provide a natural feel and warmth to both the exterior and interiors spaces. A floating membrane roof unifies the volumes.
The primary structure is formed by 24 steel columns and 9 longitudinal beams, which form the 360 sqm. restaurant/bar area. This space is enclosed on three sides by a 4.5 m. high wooden facade, which can be opened along its entire 32 m. long front. The boundaries between inside and outside blur, terrace and interior space become one. This effect is enhanced by the continuous floor finishing and the over-sailing roof. This reflects the need of the client to rapidly switch between inside and outside due to the changeable weather prevalent on the coast in Holland. It ensures that the beach club can operate independently from atmospheric conditions.
Seen from the beach the white textile roof gently opens up towards the sea. The smooth, minimalist design of steel and fabric combines well with the wood of the facade and units. The roof is composed of two layers: the floating upper membrane (Soltis of Ferrari) is the solar control screen and provides shadow for the second layer, which protects against rain. This rain screen membrane is the new Précontraint 401 of Ferrari with a 48 % translucency. The constant breeze cools the air between these layers.
The effect intended “on the drawing board” is confirmed in practice: the interior is very bright and no artificial light is needed during the day. At the same time the space does not heat up and remains comfortably cool even at high temperatures. Air conditioning is not necessary. The carbon footprint and energy costs are reduced significantly because of this.
With 8 months between first sketch and realisation a project emerged which complies with the highest standards in sustainability, pre-fabrication and hospitality.
The Singel Tower will be the latest addition to the Meelfabriek complex, as a next step in this continued evolution. Its significant scale completes the industrial complex on the south border, and further marks the significance of the Meelfabriek in the urban context of Leiden.
Decomposed into three distinct volumes, the tower blends with the volumetric diversity and composition of the buildings nearby. This is to the benefit of the visual appearance of the building. The west tower acquires slenderness and elegance through the division in three distinct volumes: this ensures a lighter presence in the skyline of Leiden.
The design is inspired by the specific qualities of the Meelfabrieks’ listed buildings and engages in a dialogue with them.
The structural concrete frame is poured on site, and will remain apparent. The combination of raw materials and a crisply detailed facade creates a truthful building that strongly relates to the functional design of the existing buildings around.
Pushing the loadbearing frame to the outside of the exterior envelope allows for the creation of column-free, loft-like apartments. The ground floor will incorporate retail concessions thus providing vibrancy and a sense of destination essential to a successful public realm. This also corresponds to the overall concept of dedicating the ground floor levels of The Meelfabriek to public activities.
The project inserts itself in the old Hagedorn factory building in Osnabrück Germany.
In two building complexes the programme contains a cafe and office spaces in one part, and a housing programme in the other part. A rooftop extension links the two blocks and creates contemporary spaces that overlook the city and the landscape.
The interior organisation aims at keeping the existing spaces and structure as untouched as possible. Modern, open and flexible office spaces were conceived to adapt to the uncommon profile of the muuuh group – brave, inconvenient, distinguished.
He studied architecture at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands from which he graduated with an honorable mention in 2004. After his studies he moved to London to work for HOK International as a project architect on a number of large schemes.
For over 10 years he worked for the Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Paris, where he contributed to several projects including the KPN Tower in Rotterdam and the Art Institute of Chicago. He led the design and construction of the facade of Europe’s tallest tower, the Shard at London Bridge. It officially opened in June 2012.
That same year Bart became an associate and since then has been the architect in charge for several large scale projects including the 620-meter-tall Yongsan Landmark Tower in Seoul, the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, and the Bishop Ranch, a shopping centre and urban development in San Ramon, Northern California.
In October 2014 Bart founded Studio Akkerhuis in Paris. In a short period the office has grown to 20 staff, working on a diverse range of projects worldwide. A notable project currently under construction is the 55 000 m² large Meelfabriek in Leiden. This year the Studio was selected for the Biennale of Lyon and was awarded the Innovation Award at the Biennale of Bordeaux.
Bart Akkerhuis is also active as a lecturer, visiting critic and member of jury for projects and conferences across Europe. He received the Design Vanguard Award from the influential American magazine Architectural Record in 2016; ´It brings together the architects who are already doing some of the most innovative architecture work in the field and will lead the profession in the future. They are the firms at the forefront of design and the architects to watch’.
For several years the Zeeburgereiland silos have just been a recognizable landmark in a deserted area. However, the surrounding sites have developed over the years and many new buildings have been constructed. Formerly empty fields have disappeared and lively places have formed, with the goal to combine work and living with a strong emphasis on sport and activity.
The three silos, strong and present, are in the centre of this new neighbourhood and will be a major architectural icon in the district’s life.
Keeping their recognizable appearance is one main objective of this project. Their beautiful patina is left intact and only small interventions are planned on the outside. The rectangular form on top will link two of the volumes – making them one functional entity while the third volume remains unchanged.
A restaurant, a kindergarten and other functions will be located in the lower levels.
As the main volume of the silo shafts host a car park, a swimming pool and all the technical spaces, there is no need to open up the façade, which remains intact with only the internal spaces being reorganised.
A wellness center and spa is located in the top volume, offering space to gather and relax with panoramic views over the adjacent area.
STUDIO AKKERHUIS was founded in 2014 in Paris by Bart Akkerhuis, a former associate of Renzo Piano.
Our practice works internationally as architects, interiors designers and urbanists. We engage in projects through which we can explore inventive responses to environmental, technological, cultural and social contexts. In doing so we regularly collaborate with specialists from other fields, from artists and engineers to philosophers and filmmakers.
We are represented by a young and dynamic staff of about 20 architects from 11 different countries, sharing a common passion for architecture and design. The studio is dedicated to creativity and originality while also recognising the pragmatic necessities associated with delivering design and architectural projects. From concept design to construction supervision, it is able to manage all the architectural design stages. Working as a team with our clients and consultants, we pay particular attention to detail and the development of bespoke solutions throughout a collaborative design process.
Realized and ongoing projects of the studio include the transformation of the 55 000 m² monumental ‘Meelfabriek’ into a mixed-use complex in Leiden, a contemporary art gallery in Paris, a boutique hotel and a masterplan for 750 housing units, both in the Netherlands. Furthermore, Studio Akkerhuis collaborates with Renzo Piano Building Workshop on the new Parisian Law Courts, currently under construction in Paris.
Studio Akkerhuis has won numerous awards; the Architectural Record Design Vanguard (2016) and the Innovation Award Bas Carbone at the Biennale of Bordeaux (2017) amongst others.
Studio Akkerhuis keeps working on site together with the team of Renzo Piano Building Workshop to finish the works and make the final adjustments for the building to open to the public on 16 April 2018.
photo credit: Le Figaro
Exhibition « Bordeaux Respire » September 16 to 15 Octobre 2017 @ la base sous-marine de Bordeaux
Team : Studio Akkerhuis / Après la pluie / AIA Studio Environnement / Atelier Gantner
Studio Akkerhuis will be part of the round table ”Construire dans la Jallere” at the Hangar 14 Bordeaux, the 23th of September 2017. Moderated by Catherine Sabbah.
With Vincent Parreira / Philippe Labro / Explorations Architecture / Nicolas Michelin.
Not far from the Noordwijk shore, on one of the highest dune tops of the region, stands the dis-used water tower of this small seaside town.
Designed and built in 1918 according to the principles of The Amsterdam School, the once apparent brick facade is now covered behind a grey stucco layer.
Studio Akkerhuis proposes to bring new life into this abandoned building by creating a mix of public and private functions.
Once finished the water tower will accommodate a private house, a generous public space in the water reservoir and a viewing platform on top.
As it is a classified national monument, the studio proposes minimal interventions. The dis-used tank will be opened on three sides to bring daylight into the interiors and give carefully framed views towards the outside. The old brick facade will be made apparent once more, restoring the majestic beauty of this great example of the Amsterdam School.
The 40-meter height former grain silo is the largest industrial building in the Meelfabriek post-industrial development and it will be transformed into the Meelfabriek Hotel. In order to retain the silo identity and thus its industrial heritage, the project aims to preserve as much as possible its monolithic exterior and majestic interior, transforming the roughness of the exposed concrete into raw beauty.
Through an inside-out transformation, each room fits in between the continuous vertical structure. Such verticality is emphasised at each floor by the preserved vertiginous voids that cross the full height of the building and through which suspended bridges serve the hotel rooms. Likewise the room windows fit in the monolithic facade as a result of a surgical intervention.
While the central part of the building hosts the hotel rooms, both the bottom and top levels have public access to ensure a multidimensional experience for the various users of the building. The ground floor is designed as a flexible event space connected to the hotel lobby, Singel channel marina and the commercial functions.
From there a panoramic core with exterior stairs brings the visitors first to the destination roof-top bar and restaurant, then to the exclusive ballroom: a pure mirrored glass volume of 10x10x10 m, the highest point of the Meelfabriek, suspended in the sky, with a 360 degree breathtaking view of the city. The cube glass facade will mirror the surroundings in the daytime while at night it will be a beacon and symbol of the new city district.
Situated on the northern edge of central Paris, the new Paris courthouse will regroup various facilities currently dispersed around the capital, becoming the largest law court complex in Europe. The building takes the form of a slim, transparent, 160 m tower of stacked volumes, decreasing in size, and contributes to the further urban development of the Clichy-Batignolles district as a new landmark.
Composed of a superposition of public spaces with lobby and courtrooms in the podium and offices in the high-rise section of the building and with three separated flows of circulation, the new courthouse represents one of the most complex briefs for design.
The public part with the open six-storey main lobby – naturally lighted from the roof – is accessible from the new piazza and arranges the different courtrooms in recognizable volumes on the galleries.
The terraces on the podium and in between every volume of the tower will host gardens from which views are open to all directions. To obtain the HQE certification (High Environmental Quality), the building’s energy consumption will be half that of the newest towers in La Défense.
Studio Akkerhuis has been collaborating for two years with Renzo Piano Building Workshop on this project, in particular working on the design and delivery of the interior spaces, submittal approval and final inspections of the works before handover. The building is nearing practical completion.
To create an oasis of culture and music, surrounded by nature and in the centre of one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the world, seems like a dream impossible to chase. The people of Seoul have this dream and we believe it is a very strong and viable one, one that can become reality. Together with its citizens the municipality has started to pave the way for this ambitious and unique project to take off. Our proposal continues to build on these solid foundations, to construct that dream, together with the people of Seoul and for its future generations.
First, Nodeul Island needs to become a thriving place. Our proposal takes cues on which successful communities are founded: diversity, identity and flexibility are important keywords. We create a central piazza, intimate courtyards and a network of paths and walkways to connect the pavilion-like structures. Firmly set in nature, these pavilions themselves are providing a framework that the users of Nodeul Island can make their own.
Secondly we need to embed Nodeul Island in the heart of city life. With a rich program, spanning all seasons, varying from large festivals to smaller gatherings, the Nodeul Island draws people across all age groups and from all backgrounds of life. We envisage communal spaces, intimate courtyards and winter gardens, intelligent and efficient spaces that protect against the harsh climate throughout all seasons. With a maximum adaptability this will be a place to meet and to share, to socialize and to participate; a place for people to develop the vibrant life of the Nodeul community.
Thirdly, Nodeul Island is currently an island of two halves, divided by one of the major arteries of Seoul’s busy road network. We start to look at the island from a different perspective. We propose a bridge, not only to connect the two sides of this road, but also to connect the whole island. This promenade is spanning from the green floodplains in the east, through the courtyards and piazzas along the pavilions, past the main auditorium and over the road to arrive in a green haven: the forest on the east side of the Island. To enhance this connection we continue the landscaping from east to west by planting as many trees as possible along and in between the roads. Instead of the road crossing the island, it will be the island crossing the road.
This temporary theater was our proposal at the request of a local association that organized a summer festival, inviting all kinds of artists. By the North Sea, at sunset, this place was about to receive musicians, actors, dancers, storytellers, and any event related to the summer festival.
Our goal was to create a flexible space, adaptable to different stage, technical and audience configurations, that welcomes and encourages closeness between artists and spectators. Built with the limited budget of the sponsors, the structure was almost exclusively made of recycled materials: surf masts, steel cables, fabrics and wooden pallets. Easy to assemble and to package once the festival was over, this simple and light structure was integrated into the site’s spirit, creating a cosy shelter, comfortable for the audience, practical and efficient for the staff, and a large range of artistic expressions.
The French energy supplier EDF selected 4 practices for this competition to develop the area of the Caisse des Dépôts bank, north of the Bordeaux city center, into a carbon neutral environment and to represent the future of urban living in 2050. Studio Akkerhuis was awarded with the Innovation prize from the jury led by Bordeaux mayor and former French Prime minister Alain Juppé.
The project is based on the fact that to have a carbon neutral environment the density should not be higher than 5-7 inhabitants per hectare. But to avoid urban sprawl it is necessary to achieve higher densities than this. This contradiction was the starting point of our concept.
The result of this reflexion was a change to a bigger scale and the concentration of the new community on a line between the lake west of the actual site and the Garonne river in the east. Along the 6 m wide and 2300 m long peer are clusters of buildings with varyring functions as well as the existing building of the Caisse des Dépôts.
Because of a possible rise of the water level the line stays roughly 5 m above the existing terrain. All circulation, transportation, reticulation supply and energy exchange is bundled on the peer. All along the line direct links to the landscape are generated, as panoramic viewpoints, stairs or slopes giving access to the ground.
The high density of the line means a majority of the adjacent landscape is either cultivated or for recreational use. This guarantees agricultural supply as well as balancing the carbon footprint.
The contrast between the density of the backbone and the immaculate nature surrounding the line represents a new model for the city.