the green corner

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  • Project: architecture
  • Program: health care; green daycare for mentally disabled people
  • Client: Visser & Bouwman architecten
  • Design: Harmen van de Wal, Smahan Amrach, Cady Chintis, Karzan Kakahama, Sonia Sousa
  • Technical elaboration: Visser & Bouwman architecten
  • consultant: LEX
  • Structural engineering: Karel van Moorsel
  • Built area: 930 m2
  • est. building costs: 1.700.000 Euro
  • Location: Purmerend, The Netherlands
  • Start design: Januar 2007
  • start building: 2011

The green corner is a project for a daycare center in the city of Purmerend. It is part of a larger development aimed at a total redevelopment of the Prinsenstichting area, a compound for the care of mentally disabled people. Originally laid out as pavilions in a lush green area, the whole compound proved too expensive to maintain. Therefore the area will be redeveloped as a suburban neighborhood in which the buildings for the Prinsenstichting are to be integrated. In the south west corner of the neighborhood the Green Corner, a daycare center for outdoor activities, is to be last reminiscent of the previously green environment.

The urban planners of the new suburb thought it wise to attach a theme to the neighborhood; the English “cottage style”. Being in the corner of the area, we could deal with this theme by applying rough cottage-like materials (wood, white painted brick and ivy), meanwhile using our own architectural language for the rest of the building.
Rather than a pasted-on identity we are interested in the spatial implications of ensuring at the same time both a comforting enclosure, and a relationship with the outside that is as open as possible. Three main spaces were identified, each with their own specific inside-outside relationship. The workshops, whose main function is to provide shelter against the climate, the canteen, that needs a cosy atmosphere, and therefore is more enclosed, using the shape of the roof to create a house-like or barn-like space, and finally the experience garden for the most disabled clients, using both roof and floor to create a shell-like space.

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