Renovation residential block Bernadottelaan + Monnetlaan

Through a public selection procedure by the municipality of Utrecht, Bloot Architecture was selected in collaboration with FiMek estate to realize a sustainable renovation proposal for a block with eleven existing homes. The block is located on the corner of Monnetlaan – Bernadottelaan, centrally located in the up-and-coming district of Kanaleneiland in Utrecht.

Year

2021

Status

Under construction

Client

Fimek estate

Photographs

Bloot Architecture

Contractor

Bouwbedrijf A. Verploegh B.V.

Plan context

The L-shaped building block at the Bernadottelaan-Monnetlaan intersection is the prototype of ‘wederopbouw’ architecture in the Netherlands; affordable living with lots of light (through ‘doorzon’) and air (relatively much public and private outdoor space due to a variety of low-rise and high-rise buildings). The architecture is modern, industrialized and functional. The residential block is part of the urban development stamp of Kanaleneiland.

Birdseye view of Kanaleneiland alongside the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal

Analysis diagram

1 The residential block as an ensemble; the open plan building block as a special feature of the whole.

2 Homes sandwiched between house-separating vertical elements and readable as individual homes.

3 Plasticity in the facade, with the deepened entrance as the main element.

4 Each individual room, including the floors, can be read in the facade.

General identity

When renovating a housing project such as this one, where the energetic standards of the past no longer correspond to today’s times and the old shell has to be insulated, it is important to establish the identity of the building and to embrace or strengthen it. By identity we mean the architectural principles and spatial qualities. The design of the homes has many unique and valuable aspects, but there are also many design decisions in the original design that came from cost-saving motives. Holding on to that doesn’t make sense and would reduce the quality of the new design. What makes this project unique?

 

Qualities/identity:

 

– Homes sandwiched between house-separating vertical elements and readable as individual homes.
– Each individual room and the floors can be read in the facade
– Light, space, well-functioning floor plans and affordability
At the time; thin wooden fronts and steel rotating parts
– Plasticity in the facade with the deepened entrance as the main element
– The residential block as an ensemble; the open plan building block as a special feature of the whole.

Aanzicht Bernadottelaan voor renovatie

Design

The facade must be insulated and re-clad. The brick structure is replaced by an ‘untreated’ wooden structure. This has the same rhythm as the bricks (50 mm high/10 mm joint). As a circular material it fits better into this time and provides the building ensemble with a warm atmosphere. In addition, it could be said that the wood was already part of the original material palette of the houses. The roof edge and the parcelling are also included in this wood. This makes the whole of vertical elements and the connection of the roof edge as a whole clearly perceptible. This is not a simplification, but a reinforcement of the architectural principles.

'Wederopbouw' architecture in the Netherlands; affordable living with lots of light ('doorzon') and air

Design in detail

At the level of the individual house, the design has also been addressed. The lines of the upper floor are again perceptible in the facade in the form of blank anodized aluminum. The section of parapet above is insulated and covered with Profilit glazing. Due to the aluminum cladding and the glass parapet, the building block regains its light, modern and industrialized character.

Visualization Bernadottelaan
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