deep urbanity – the (w)hole house

  • Dordrecht (w)hole house
  • project: Dordrecht Deep Urbanity
  • Client: Municipality of Dordrecht
  • designteam: Harmen van de Wal, Smahan Amrach, Sofia Fernandes
  • Start of design: November 2005
  • Program: Urban block with 232 dwellings and parking garage
  • Location : Dordrecht Stadswerven

The city of Dordrecht, known to have one of the most beautiful Dutch old citycenters, plans to extend its center towards a former harbour. The municipality commissioned Krill to study on an elaboration of one of the building blocks in the urban masterplan of this extension. The main objective was to realise an identity resembling the old city center without reaching back to the so called pre-modern building styles. We strongly believe it is possible to create this atmosphere of ‘deep urbanism’ with modern means. To achieve this we defined three major design principles;
– All outdoor spaces not integrated in a building are collective
– A collective parking garage is seen as intrinsic part of the collective space
– Architecture is prepared to undergo an endles range of changes, even those not foreseen.

Two new housing prototypes were developed. The first was the (W)hole House, the second prototype, the (W)hole Block, is a small apartment block. The Hole House treats the architecture as an empty shell. No windows or door are defined, just holes. Each inhabitant can decide for himself on the proper way to live in this house. To achieve the optimum in flexibility we’ve performed ten pre-build renovations. Based on these renovations the holes were positioned in the way most fitting to all possibillities.

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