FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL
Technische Universiteit Delft
Design for a housing complex on Hoogte Kadijk in Amsterdam whose vulnerable residents can be self-sufficient and are stimulated to take part in society.
Reforms in the Dutch healthcare system have meant that more and more vulnerable people are expected to live self-sufficiently in our society. The residential environment of these target groups is key to how they are stimulated and socially involved in our society. The current housing stock falls short in this respect and so there is a demand for suitable dwellings for socially vulnerable target groups.
Research has shown that integrating work, education and social amenities in the immediate residential environment promotes resident participation and strengthens social capital in the city. This combination of living, working and socializing creates an environment in which residents can build up a social network and be encouraged to contribute to society.
The building relates to the city in different ways. Its double-height plinth of social and educational work activities serves to tie the building to its surroundings. The educational work activities stimulate residents to develop skills necessary to taking part in the jobs market while the social amenities promote social support as well as interaction between the residents and the neighbourhood.
Each unit is designed to create an environment that both protects and stimulates. Communal space variously employed to encourage social interaction between residents generates residential clusters whose makeup varies with the degree of resident self-sufficiency. The communal space varies from an open well for communal activity to a broad gallery of meeting places. Access to the block gives onto the communal garden so that this draws the individual residential clusters together.
The design reflects a quest for design tools that can help to inspire the target group to engage with others and take part in society. With these energizing elements in place, the building proves to be an example of a stimulating living environment in which socially vulnerable target groups can live independently, build up a social network and be of benefit to society.