Polish practice BudCud has sent us their EUROPAN 11 entry 'Central Lake' for the Kanaalzone site in Leeuwarden, Netherlands which won the team an Honorable Mention. For the EUROPAN Leeuwarden challenge, participants were confronted with questions that asked for a solution on all levels: landscape, urban and architectural.
Project Description from the Architects:
On the beginning, Leeuwarden village was located by an inlet that in fact was a lake. The big water determined the city sprawl. Then the lake was changed into grid of canals, and fields. The city extended parallel into dense grid of streets and canals. City block became the mane typology. Later on it sprawl towards the former so called Middelzee and the city spirit was lost.
With our strategy, we want to revive the primal nature of the site. Adjusting canal grid once again, by a simple gesture of squeezing it into a bigger volume, the statement is made. The new lake is created, so that outstanding features describe Leeuwarden. Again. the site is an ideal place for water lovers, for whose affection the big lake is more appropriate than practical, but characterless narrow irrigation canals. The site character now is distinctive. It is similar to a big city block. It is as natural as a region of Fryslan should be, directed into the phenomena of something between urban and rural lifestyle. Absolutely honest in its return to nature and celebration of a common space, yet with a respect to private. It is environmentally conscious, but in a modern way, with its contemporary approach.
Housing is organized around the lake, what guarantees spectacular views and contact with nature.There are 304 sites from witch 300 host single family housing typologies: free standing houses, semidetached and detached housing, with height ranging from one floor bungalows to 3 story houses. 4 sites are taken by apartment blocks, with total number of 100 units. In this scenario we are opting for 400 apartments in total. Site width vary between 6 and 10 m, and its depth can be from 20 to 80 meters, what gives a total area from 150 sqm to 485 sqm per site. Which is enough efficient and cheap to buy. Housing units are put in sets as mediators to create subdivisions of the whole area. That arrangement also allows wide angled, spacious perspectives full of green and water from the inside of the site, giving the illusion of uninhabited, virgin land for those who live there. From outside it seems like a dense part of a city. Giving us the dream come true. The site arrangement behaves like a magnetic field, with an intense social performance zone in the center.
The urban strategy assumption is similar to the one of Central Park, New York, USA - that green area became city orientation surface, it's relief and activity zone. Just like Manhattan blocks, Leeuwarden sites are arranged around the lake, perpendicularly to the closest waterline, forming compact stripped masterplan. Long, narrow sites allow to locate units in few different condition. It can be closer to the road, leaving the great area for 'a secret garden' and a long perspective to the lake. A house can be located in the middle of the site, retreating itself from the road, indulged in a garden. On the back part of the site a private water platform can be located, used according to the need- as a fishing spot, boat platform or a sundeck. Water lovers can have their house on the verge of the lake, overlooking their boat moored nearby or even under the first floor.
The rest of the site is wild, suggesting the natural culmination of the path. The set of sites, where the buildings are moved from the road, forms a panorama of a park. That strategy saves the community funds reserved for public spaces, because the park is maintained by private owners, but used by the whole community. The dimensions of the site give one more urban strategy- a possibility of subdivision depending on the real estate market situation. Site sizes are elastic. It means the total footprint could be more intense without losing the spontaneous character of the site.
Client: MUNICIPALITY OF LEEUWARDEN, ELKIEN, EUROPAN EUROPE
Location: LEEUWARDEN, NL
Program: URBAN PLANNING, HOUSING
Area: 490000 M2
Status: COMPETITION, SPECIAL MENTION
Team BudCud: MATEUSZ ADAMCZYK, MARCELINA KOLASIŃSKA, AGATA WOŹNICZKA
Check also the image gallery below for more diagrams.