A new day-centre for the clients of the ’s Heeren Loo healthcare institution will be built on the edge of the dunes of the Willem van den Bergh grounds. The day-centre will be formed by two courts through which a public route will proceed. Inverted integration will take place in this public domain. Here, the visitor will meet the user, in other words, the client, of the institution.
As one progresses along the public route, the buildings manifest themselves in a consistently new way. A simple volume with a roof serves as the basis of the architecture. The volume is articulated, whereas the ridge continues straight on, generating double orientation. The spatial experience is akin to the fragmentary image that autistic people form of their surroundings. The degree of articulation of the volume determines the character of the buildings and typifies the façades.
As a consequence of the articulation, the volume generates space and gives direction and intimacy to the outside area. In the interior, there is an interesting encounter between the various directions and the specific spaces created. All the buildings are situated on one of the two courts. The distance and orientation of the volumes determines the relationship with the court. In this way, places for casual or arranged encounters, inviting use, are formed between the volumes and the public domain.
The character of the buildings issues from the day-centre programme, which requires both heated and unheated spaces. By reorganizing the programme, warm and cold buildings are created. This produces efficiency for the technical installations as well as great cost-savings. The warm buildings have been allocated a brick façade, while the cold ones have a wooden front.
The materialization harmonizes with the architecture and the user of the day-centre. The robust materials give the buildings an appropriate allure in the landscape setting. The brick buildings are built with bricks that have been rejected because of their irregular form, thus producing an erratic façade. It represents a meeting of perfect and imperfect material.
The coarse wooden façades consist of round timbers vertically assembled. The round shape enables both transparency and solidity. Light filters through the wood in a subtle way, and shadows appear softly and gently on the curves of the wood. The roof consists of wooden planks that run toward the ridge line. The sharp detailing of the roof emphasizes the architecture of the volumes.
Location: Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Architect: Onix Architects
Photographer: Rob de Jong (SAPH)