crea—tura studio
On Re:use
Wilma Weert Social City
Excavating forgotten principles in the era of ecological need
The overall re:use approach has roots in the historical and pragmatic approach to life itself. Once we all knew how to re:use what was around us. This however has been over-grown by industrialization in building pro-cess. As re:use of the heritage of the post-war building development is becoming an addressed issue, this project shows way of reclaiming the present and drive it towards future. Reconfiguration in order to accom-modate today's needs, preserving the heritage. Architectural design is now challenged by the scarcity of resources, having a new role in using the resources as found...
Parkstad Limburg. From Dust It Came, and To Dust It Shall Return. An area that all depended on taking some-thing out the underground mystery world onto daylight. The cycle now continues. Coal is now represented by foundations of the building that was once inhabiting those mining it. The building is dug up from the ground, dissolving into parts. It is the cycle that caught my interests. Being both abstract, but also strikingly physical...

Though re:use we create and preserve not only new economical and ecological values, but also cultural. Rationality of the inherited structure is a valuable asset and the design is taking advantage of this "as found aes-thetics". Reuse of the elements is therefore very straightforward. My approach simply asked the elements what they wanted to be. What they allowed and were built for, this especially allies to the load-bearing structure of the building. This simple re:use of basic elements allowed to apply a principle of ex-tendibility in the future in according to meet demands that the future of Kerkrade might hold. It also works with reintroducing the community that once lived in the high-rise. Keeping the structure recognizable so it feels like meeting an old friend who has changed, but the very character stayed. The gallery became a social space within the dwelling, leading to a core and circulation principles, that might be recognized in Japanese dwell-ings. Where the double façade system serves also as a corridor encircling the very private sphere. Elements are repositioned, finding a new coordinates within the imagined three dimensional grid – the site itself.

In direct opposition of the building block a row of a low-rise facade is finally going to receive the longed-for daylight, after complete deconstruction of its dreaded high-rise neighbour. It is a fading image in as many reflections as there are window openings facing the structure itself. The memory of this image is in parts, as each inhabitant of these low-rises had his own mental image of the block in mind. Once being in opposition, the neighbourhood will from now on be the body of collective memory...


On the bigger scale, the rationale of the prototypes extends to urbanism. But what is the difference when repositioning the elements directly on the ground? The elements stay, but the relations to the world change. The area in the close vicinity of the prototype has different qualities than to those before (balcony, gallery) Thus the idea of providing a private plot came. Same element, different relation indeed. The prototype defined the width of the longitudinal plot and the way they are positioned on the plot affects the relation to the direct neighbourhood and the other prototypes. Thus starting a dialogue with its neighbours, that has never been there. The reuse also goes with re:building the community itself. Rebuilding a community from the very elements it once occupied. Legibility of the space was the guiding principle in the design, achieving it through clearly (yet not aggressively) marking the private/communal/public. Once multiple prototypes are laid out on a ground in multiple, they start to cluster, forming inner world enclosed by façades. The urban masterplan reflects and interacts with the neighbourhood and the organism of the city. It connect to the main arteries, thus creating a common space rather than a barriers. It also accepts and embraces the principles of a masterplan that has been designed by Ziegler-Branderhorst office. However it reflects the surrounding and enhances the overall rationale of a imposed grind on the site. In my design the grid is present, however it's not rectangular and breaks the building into identifiable cluster. This way it also reacts to the building that is currently present on the north of the site. Making three scenarios possible. Stating that, if the building is about to be vacant in the future, it is worth exploring possibilities of applying reuse strategies onto it as well. Perhaps merging with the elements from the building block C.

This essay is a part of Highrise-Lowrise Project