Capelle aan den IJssel

JK 818 - transparent clouds

Javier Fernández Contreras (ES 1982), Dingting Chen (CN 1986)


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A linear undulating block, six floors high, colonises the entire study area, following an organic random continuous pattern. During the first phase, only one part will be built and one corner of the development will be left empty for future extensions. The inner open spaces generated by the shape of the building are conceived as a sequence of “cosy” squares, according to the authors: “a city within a building”. The block is four and a half metres wide and it is profusely perforated at different heights to provide a transparent “lightness” to the volume. The section is divided into different functions: an “urban basement” on the ground floor with retail and parking facilities, at +four metres  a “cosy” village for community life with plazas and housing three floors high. This housing runs parallel to a three metre wide strip of private gardens and is completely open to them. Another strip of “air housing” is placed on top of this housing. The design principle of this housing is that there are no partitions and that spaces float around voids. Voids and skins are conceived to provide good and sustainable climate control.

Jury assessment

Although the proposal should be considered unfeasible and insufficiently thought-out, the jury appreciated the daring, poetic architecture. As regards the spaces that are enclosed by the winding development, some are attractive, others blatantly problematical.

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