Team Representative: Wouter Keizer (NL) – architect; Associate: Ule Koopmans (NL) – architect
Contributors: Douwe Strating (NL) – architect; Lieke De Jong (NL) – landscaper; Anna Decker (NL) – sociologist
Asterweg 17-11, 1031HL Amsterdam (NL)
+31 629469956- email@example.com – keizerkoopmans.com
U. Koopmans & W. Keizer
VIDEO (by the team)
1. How did you form the team for the competition?
We, two architects, were planning to start our own company ‘Keizer Koopmans’ and saw the competition as a perfect way build a team with different disciplines. Luckily, we were able to form a professional multidisciplinary team with contacts from our network.
2. How do you define the main issue of your project, and how did you answer on this session main topic: the place of productive activities within the city?
For us the main goal of Brainpark Rotterdam was to add a proportional amount of housing in a responsible and logical way, without overseeing existing qualities and ownership boundaries. The desired mix of the district can be established by mixing the existing office buildings in Brainpark with a large amount of new housing and productive functions on the ground floor. The main remaining question was how this mix could fit on the site in a right and sustainable way.
3. How did this issue and the questions raised by the site mutation meet?
We built our plan on clear parameters; presented by the site: the central green park as existing quality; a desired connection from the transportation hub to the boulevard of the campus; staying away from the polluting highway and the existing ownership plots. This way we were able to make a lay-out with zoning as the basis for our masterplan.
4. Have you treated this issue previously? What were the reference projects that inspired yours?
We realised quite soon that adding so much program asks for a clear urban concept in terms of building typology, the relationship between building and greenery, accessibility. We were inspired by the urban transformation of Clichy Batignolles in the West of Paris. From this project we found that buildings themselves can have a very high density as long as you combine them with proportional greenery. This is how we realised that the high density of Manhattan mainly works so well because of the size of Central Park. It’s basically the best of both worlds in close proximity: lively dense streets Vs. an open and wide green park. Our last reference focuses on the border between these worlds: the clear an poetical architectural fencing by Luis Barragán in Casa Estudio.
5. Urban-architectural projects like the ones in Europan can only be implemented together with the actors through a negotiated process and in time. How did you consider this issue in your project?
Though we had a high ambition in terms of adding volume, we wanted to make a realistic plan. We took the existing ownership plots quite seriously. Our masterplan is based on these plots and has as few changes as possible. The idea is that each plot as it is today can transform itself into the plot of the masterplan.
6. Is it the first time you have been awarded a prize at Europan? How could this help you in your professional career?
It is the first time we have won a competition with this team and the timing couldn't have been better to receive this 1st prize. One month after the announcement, we officially started our office on 01.01.2020 under the name: Keizer Koopmans.
Office: Keizer Koopmans
Functions: Architecture, landscape, sociology
Average age of the associates: 31 years old
Has your team, together or separately, already conceived or implemented some projects and/or won any competition? If yes, which ones?