Living on a deck


Municipality of Heerlen


4700 sq m

Competition: 47 residential care apartments

Along the periphery of Heerlen Zuid, in the Burgemeester Gijzelslaan, a design has been made for a residential care apartment complex. The immediate surroundings of the location provide an inviting, spacious and green setting. Bekkenveld, built in the 1930s as a neighbourhood for the upper middle class and officials in the mining industry, is still an attractive residential neighbourhood today. With the exception of the opposite buildings, the surrounding area consists predominantly of low-rise houses.

These observations resulted in our proposal to construct a low, light and informal pavilion-type building volume on the site. This volume of 90 by 20 metres is made up of three partially built-up layers on a plinth rising out of the ground and to be positioned as far as possible towards the rear of the plot. In this way a green space is created at the front and a car-free court at the rear of the block. The programme comprises 47 compact care apartments with a floor area of approximately 70 m2 each, a space for communal use, a healthcare post or welfare room and a parking facility for 63 parking spaces in the plinth.

The design is primarily aimed at upgrading the spaces in the building that are intended for communal use. The standard residential floor can best be seen as a large collective deck on which four clusters of four apartments each have been positioned. Among and surrounding these clusters, room is left for access to the apartments and for a sun terrace – a sheltered place from which to survey the surroundings or a place to meet. The various levels are connected by stairs and a central lift.

download pdf