The journey continues..

by Rik Blank on 03/09/2015

Our dealings as Stijlgroep with the Kindom of Bahrain are taking shape ever more. Earlier this week, the Bahraini delegation of investors, building companies, pension funds and the Economic Development Board came to the Netherlands to further concretize collaborations. It was a very interesting meet-up, as a range of new projects and possibilities of developments were discussed. Stijlgroep, as a part of the GoDutch Consortium (GDC) in collaboration with the Dutch Building Association (DBA), was one of the hosts.

Stijlgroep_Delegatie_PlanTij

The delegation focused on the qualities of services and projects of both the members of the GoDutch Consortium and the Dutch Building Association. Various of the involved offices and a number of built projects were included in the visit to the Netherlands. Some of the projects visited included Cité (Tangram/GDC, van Rossum/DBA), Plan Tij (Plan Tide) (Stijlgroep/GDC) and De Rotterdam (building management DVP/DBA). Tuesday September 1st, the trip was concluded with a visit to Fachjan in  Honselersdijk and a dinner in the centre of Naaldwijk, which was designed by Stijlgroep in 1999.

Stijlgroep_Delegatie_Rotterdam

Stijlgroep_Delegatie_Fachjan

Stijlgroep_Delegatie

During the stay at Stijlgroep, we presented to the delegation two design proposals set on prime strategic locations in Bahrain, these locations were earlier assigned to us as to give our vision on the complex spatial context. These design proposals were presented and discussed and were received with great enthusiasm. Next steps will be made shortly, but for now, our place on the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS) of 2016 is set, which is again a great opportunity and a new step in the ongoing and exiting journey.

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A new journey

by Paul van Wijk on 31/08/2015

Stijlgroep has engaged in an exiting new adventure set on an island in the Persian Gulf; our recent journey took us to the Kingdom of Bahrain. Last February, 2015, Stijlgroep along with the GoDutch Consortium took part on invitation in the Bahrain International Garden Show (BIGS). As of now, some highly concrete developments are taking shape, but first we’ll explain to you some of its background story.

Stijlgroep BIGS Certificate

The participation of Stijlgroep at the BIGS was one of the highpoints in a continuing journey and exploration into a beautiful country and culture. When visiting Bahrain, we were guided over the island, came to meet interesting people and explored potential opportunities. At the garden show however, we actually came in contact with Her Royal Highness. The BIGS is a leading show in amongst others the fields of agriculture, ecology and landscape architecture. King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has patronage over the show, and it is opened and supported by Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, whom is also the President of the Consultative Council of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development (NIAD). The garden show is a big event altogether.

Stijlgroep | opening BIGS

Stijlgroep | GoDutch at BIGS

Stijlgroep was invited for the occasion to make a specific proposal for one of the prime locations in Bahrain, to be presented to Her Royal Highness. The design proposal concerned the seashore-front of the capital city of Manama, along the King Faisal Higway. In an ongoing process in the studying of the local culture, history, aesthetics, society and social and spatial needs, a plan was formed. This proposal has been presented to Her Royal Highness and to the Bahraini people and was received with much enthusiasm. Here follows a cutout abstract impression which was a part of the later proposal;

Stijlgroep | Proposal

In our dealings with, and research into Bahrain, it became all the more clear that it is truly a special place, this is also what we experienced during our stay on the island of Bahrain; a profound sense of hospitality, a rich culture and an open society. Furthermore, many unexpected encounters proved that there is a strong awareness regarding the need for high quality in landscape architecture, planning and architecture.

There were many positive encounters with people who had some form of engagement with landscape architecture and planning. Honorary consul Jaap Vaandrager played an important role in this process. As of now, we are engaged in various cases in which a next step will be made towards development.

This was a taste of the background story, leading towards the following exiting message; we are delighted to be able to hereby announce that Stijlgroep, as a part of the GoDutch Consortium in collaboration with the Dutch Building Association (DBA), will be receiving the visit in the Netherlands of the Bahraini Delegation of investors, building companies, pension funds and the Economic Development Board. Early September, new projects and collaborations will be discussed. The journey continues…

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The Quiet View

by Peter van Bever on 08/07/2015

On a sunny day I visited the site of Herkenrode Abbey in Hasselt, which has a fascinating history in a beautiful setting.

After 15 years of restoration and redevelopment the old farm buildings and 100-hectare nature in the surrounding are redeveloped into an area where there is a lot to see and do.
Because the site is still under reconstruction, you discover something new every time. The herbal and inspiration garden is already open and you can visit the experience center.
Since March 29, 2015 you can visit the work of Hans op de Beeck in the pavilion, which was realized together with Mimesis architects.

The Quiet ViewIn this clean sober housing you find a world different from its surroundings.
When you walk trough the dark corridor and you enter an illusion of space.

The Quiet ViewA bright space where you get detached from the environment and outside influences. The perception (peacful, depressed, restful) is for anyone personally affected by their own peace of mind.

Is it something unique or not? Can you see some resemblance with the surroundings of the Herkenrode Abbey?

Herkenrode Abbey

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Marsmanplein – Lieven de Key Award

by Paul van Wijk on 30/09/2014

Stijlgroep | MarsmanpleinAnnually the city of Haarlem (NL) awards a person who has realized recently a project in the field of architecture, urbanism, public space or landscape.
This year the prestigious “Lieven de Key – Award” will be presented in the context of public space.

Stijlgroep | Marsmanplein

Stijlgroep | Marsmanplein

Stijlgroep | Marsmanplein

Marsmanplein, a redevelopment in Delftwijk/Haarlem has been noticed by the jury; Paul van Wijk/Stijlgroep is nominated for this award. Collaboration with architect Herman de Kovel and developer Leyten Partners was inspiring and fruitful. The award ceremony will take place on November 18th at City Hall Haarlem.

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Delta – Antes – Poortugaal

by Paul van Wijk on 29/09/2014

Stijlgroep - Folie - Delta Psychiatric Center
By creating new landscape with the rubble of demolished buildings we practice what we preach: “landscapeisleading.com“.

Within a few years the rubble walls returned into green walls; pioneer vergetation gave way to more permanent shrubs and herbaceous plants. A pleasure to see.
Stijlgroep - Folie - Delta Psychiatric Center

Stijlgroep - Folie - Delta Psychiatric Center

Stijlgroep - Folie - Delta Psychiatric Center

SG-Folie-04SG-Folie-05

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Second round Lommerrijk

by Paul van Wijk on 12/06/2014

Lommerrijk was traditionally a local attraction located in an inspiring and unique place at the Bergse achterplas in Hillegersberg, not far from the city center of Rotterdam. The current location at the Straatweg includes a catering facility with parking and a foreland in the Bergse achterplas. The foreland is partly built and furnished for parking and at the end of there is a tennis club located. In the surroundings there are summer houses (on the islands in the lake) and large, stately homes and a few new apartment complexes at the Straatweg. In this exceptional setting are various private interests. Previous initiatives for profitable redevelopment of Lommerrijk in this sensitive context did not result in a feasible plan.

Lommerrijk foreland

The operating company Lommerrijk organized an ideas competition in two rounds to achieve a cost-effective and feasible proposal for redevelopment with sufficient support. In the first round will be asked to present a concise vision statement. From the entries, select an independent jury consisting of Carel de Reus, Gerard Frishert and Hanneke Kijne, three to five entries.

Lommerrijk foreland

For this open call, guided by architectuur lokaal, Stijlgroep is selected, together with Dana Ponec Architects and Wolters Vastgoed, for further elaboration in the second round. With the entry of “JAZZ” we will compete against Laurens de Boer, Studio Plots and NAT Architecten.

The outcome of the contest will be announced in the week of June 30, 2014.

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New York meets Rotterdam

by Paul van Wijk on 24/03/2014

Last week a delegation from New York visited the Netherlands to exchange knowledge between The Netherlands and New York on dealing with flood-prone areas. The group consisted of the professionals and students from the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development and representatives from local communities of the Rockaways, Red Hook and Lower East Side in New York.

Together with the Dutch Army Corps, the Eastern Scheldt as part of the Dutch Delta Works and the Maeslant storm surge barrier were visited during their 7-day trip. These projects are one of the most distinctive projects on water protection in The Netherlands and even worldwide and are of great importance for the safety of our country.

On Wednesday the group was joined by the Go Dutch Consortium, representatives from the cities of Rotterdam and Dordrecht and Arjan Braamskamp from the Economic Officer Dutch Consulate in New York. Paul van Wijk and Christian Messing from Stijlgroep landscape and urban design presented a selection of their projects for inspiration. One of the presented projects was the award-winning Plan Tide in Dordrecht. In a tidal landscape that was created by flooding a polder and generating tides, the relationship between the height of the dwellings, the normative high tide and the dykes led to an unique design with a high level of quality of life and safety.

Right after this session the group visited Plan Tide, where they could see this knowledge on water realized. This was followed by a walk through the historical inner city of Dordrecht, which deals with periodic flooding because of its low altitude.

Finally, the Pratt Institute and RDM Campus recently announced to have agreed on collaborating the upcoming 3 years on exchanging knowledge on the current water issues. The RDM Campus is a former harbor area in Rotterdam where new educational institutes are the engine of urban renewal for the entire area. Therefore it serves as an ideal example for similar areas in the Greater New York Area. Hereby Stijlgroep landscape and urban design congratulates both institutes on this great achievement!

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Participation process Jan Evertsenlaan

by Stijlgroep on 19/03/2014

by Annelore De Cokere

During the last week of my internship at Stijlgroep I joined Christophe at an participation evening with residents. The project concerns the Jan Eversenlaan in Voorschoten. Housing cooperative De Sleutels, the municipality of Voorschoten and the advisory group already agreed on some principles. The main goal of both the architects of A3 Architects and the designers of Stijlgroep was to listen to the residents’ desires. Hereby we as designers of the public space can achieve a better design and a design that fully meets the wishes of the residents.

At one table A3 Architects presented their plans to the four building blocks. There was a table for public space, where the residents could vote for what they would like to have in their own neighborhood and write down their own wishes. I was standing at the third table with the scale model. The residents could add various elements to their own neighborhood by themselves, such as seating furniture, play areas, fruit trees, vegetable garden.

At the end of the evening we presented the results of each table to the forty enthusiastic residents who were present. The input by the residents during this session will be used to set up the final design.

For me this was the first participation session I experienced. It was a very interesting completion of my internship. It learned me how you can really make a design where the final users have contributed to and feel proud of. In my opinion this should be the goal of each design.

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The timeframe for building the 700 dwellings of Esse Zoom in Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel was set in the spirit of the booming housing market, before anyone could suspect a global crisis. After realizing the first phase in Esse Zoom Hoog, the urban scheme of the lower part, Esse Zoom Laag, was designed and contracts were signed between the municipality and the developers.

When the crisis hit the market in 2008, it was clear that the goals of all parties involved had to be adjusted, or in some cases even reset, to be able to continue with the development. This was the start of a long journey of the municipality of Zuidplas and the involved developers – Blauwhoed, Dura Vermeer, Roosdom Tijhuis, Stevast, Syntrus Achmea and VORM – to combine forces into a knowledge team.

With Stijlgroep as the spatial coordinator of program and identity, combined with the persistent confidence, trust and adaptive spirit of the municipality and the developers, we are proud to show you the result of this team effort in a plan. In our opinion it provides the correct answer to the changed demand of development: no longer presenting a fixed blueprint urban development in fast mass production, but a spatial strategy of small flexible coherent urban settlements, in a strong identifiable framework of water, green and infrastructure.

The framework of water, green and infrastructure enhances the direction and scale of the former landscape, and thus insure the identity and spatial backbone through the phased development of about 30 dwellings per settlement. Each settlement consists of a informal mixture of freestanding villas, semi-detached and small rows of houses. By the lack of traffic through the settlements, the emphasis of use in the public space will be less on cars and more on people. As it should in coherent social environments.

By defining a continuous public space through the whole development, the settlements intertwine with a green park zone, containing the larger meeting areas and playgrounds. All different uses inside the park zone are connected as if it is a necklace of spaces and functions.

The next phase will be the making of the legal plans and designing the architecture. For this we defined a flexible set of quality guidelines that set the bar, without restricting the freedom of the architect. But most importantly: create a house that can be personalised by the future owner.

Hopefully within a year we will see the first settlement arise amidst the landscape so the next urban population will enjoy this small scale living in the landscape, close to the city of Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel.

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Stijlgroep | Maasvlakte2
Stijlgroep is pleased with the publishment of the design by Jan Konings in the Yearbook of the Blauwe Kamer. He designed concrete stairs on the Maasvlakte II, the expansion of the port of Rotterdam supplemented with a new beach for recreational proposes. Commissioned by Port of Rotterdam Authority, Stijlgroep designed the landscape in which the stairs are embedded. We mentioned this project in previous posts. You can find them here:

New Land: Maasvlakte2
Giant Waves: First sketch for Maasvlakte2
Sand, sand, sand …… and some stairs
A brand new beach on a sunny day
Good news and sunshine, Maasvlakte 2

The design is related to the open and industrial landscape, where containers, sand, water and big trucks determine the sight. To invite the visitors to the beach, you need good facilities. The three big parking spaces with clean wide stripes provide an obstacle-free space. Beside the stairs of Jan Konings, we made three wooden stairs for additional connections to the beach, which are slightly lifted up from the dunes. Wooden pillars on top of the dunes mark the entrance and serves as a checkpoint on the beach. Below you find pictures of this project in the summertime.

Stijlgroep | Maasvlakte2
Stijlgroep | Maasvlakte2
Stijlgroep | Maasvlakte2
Stijlgroep | Maasvlakte2
Stijlgroep | Maasvlakte2

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