Title: BUILDING ON THE PRESENT
Team: Egbert de Warle (NL 1983), Marcus Kempers (NL 1983)
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Building the Present embraces the present spatial quality of Havenkwartier. Transformation of the area should always be based on what is already there. The addition of something new is reserved for the canal zone. On the one project site a completely new building in the water is proposed. This is permitted because this building can place the existing environment in a new perspective. On the other project site apartments and ground-level access housing are accommodated in a long construction volume. All the housing has a view of the water. Cars can be parked on the roof. The long building screens off part of the basin, suitable as a small harbour.
With a strong request to deploy Havenkwartier’s existing qualities as the point of departure for a development strategy, the designers’ comments on the assignment are worth consideration. With convincing arguments they propose one bold, 260 metre-long building for the intervention area and not two as the assignment requested. It is an intervention that is both powerful and respects what is already there. The building has everything required to act as a catalyst at a later stage for a series of subsequent interventions. Step by step a new, robust urban environment can develop that suddenly makes Assen attractive for a new group of inhabitants. All this in the jury’s opinion, makes Building on the present a convincing winner. There is one comment: the plan would have more impetus if the new building were to accommodate other functions and not exclusively housing.
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