Together with the residents of the district Oud Overdie in Alkmaar FARO made a plan for restructuring the neighborhood. We organized workshops, excursions and town hall meetings for the current residents and listened carefully to what they had to say. This planning process resulted in a clear preference for a neighborhood square with a new, very distinct building. As a direct result of the trust we had gained from the neighborhood residents FARO was asked to design this building. FARO made three initial designs from which the residents could choose.
The building is situated on the Coornhertkade and is the first new building in this area. Instead of a series of lower buildings, we chose, with the residents, to create a compact building of ten layers. This way, the long views towards the park are kept unobstructed. The building is higher than the rest of the neighborhood, this height was chosen in order not to disturb the park more than necessary. Despite the building having ten layers, the neighborhood never objected to its construction.
Since the building is so tall, we chose to soften the height and use materials that can already be found in the immediate surroundings. The tiles, brick and white window sills establish a relation with the existing buildings. The materials are sustainable and will age beautifully. Façades are cladded with roof tiles, in this way they scale down the ten storey building.
The program you find in this one building is something you would normally find in one street or neighborhood: 60 residences and 60 parking spaces. The apartments vary in size and have flexible floor plans. They are flooded with light due to the high ceilings and all have automatic sun screens. Also a large balcony can be accessed from both the living and the bedroom. The initial goal was to increase the residential flow through the neighborhood. The different types of dwellings make this work; the building has owner occupied apartments, rental and social rental apartments which makes 50% of the housing affordable for current residents of the neighborhood.