place: Adamshofstraat, Rotterdam
size: 600 m2
status: sketch design
client: Municipality of Rotterdam
team: Remko Remijnse, Rocco Reukema, Agnese Argenti
The location’s surrounding is composed of a variety of building styles and street profiles.; these do not match the more historical setting of the neighborhood. In many places, the surroundings come fragmented, lacking a strong identity and consistency between the buildings and outdoor spaces. The buildings around the area are characterized mainly by a closed or commercial plinth with a mass of mostly residential program above it.
The given program and the defined construction contour do not make it easy to realize a flexible building with a pleasant space, especially in this complex location. For this reason, we have chosen to place the changing rooms underground and to rotate the Gym’s hall itself. This gives the ground floor an optimal space at the entrance, clear routing, storage space and an area for spectators.
Logistically, the building is more flexible by making a second, more informal entrance to the park; this offers the possibility of keeping the school square closed while the gym is operational. Underground, the two entrances can be connected and a clean route to the gym can be realized.
The building is designed so that the gym can work as an extension of the park or of the school square or even both. School activities, neighborhood activities and the connection of the two are thus stimulated and supported by the building itself. In total, a series of interesting sequences emerge in and around the building.
The ambition is to realize a gym that is on the scale of the neighborhood, and with the neighborhood able to generate a new identity for the site, to connect and communicate.
It will become a place of meeting, challenge, interaction, where inside and outside come together. The building must not form a barrier but will have to work in a binding way.
Every side of the building will have to answer different issues without losing its unity as a whole. The building must be flexible and multifunctional to host different events and activities; with the possibility to extend these events inside, through the building, they will gain potential, generating new opportunities and initiatives. In an appealing building, all essential matters are covered In their place. The aesthetic is not to underestimate: an appealing building is timelessness, fascinates the visitors and becomes a value for the surrounding.
Fitting into a complex urban situation demands extreme attention not only to the physical context but also to the social structure of the neighborhood and its inhabitants. The gym needs to be an added value for the different users and residents. It will have to be more than Only a gymnasium, it will reflect the surrounding area; the residents living around it will recognize in it and feel invited to actively use the building.
The adjacent outer spaces are different in terms of character. The park is quiet and a place for everyone, the school yard is dynamic and is a place for the Students, the semi-private garden of the apartment building is a green space for the residents. To each of these outdoor spaces, the building will have to respond in the right way; the wishes of different users will be translated in architecture qualities. The building wants to create social and urban unity and make a pleasant place to stay and play.
The public nature of the environment requires a more steady facade on the ground floor, which we plan to build in brick and anti-graffiti coating. The construction above it can be made with a cheaper and lighter material. For the basement could be used plain concrete, contributing to the robust character of the building.