De Kuil

Location Rotterdam

Size 23.000 m²

Program Residential, Commercial

Year 2020

Status Competition

De Kuil Connects!

On the pivot point of “de Kop van Zuid”, “Parkstad” and the Afrikaanderwijk is De Kuil. A urban and green neighbourhood. Existing and future residents will meet each other. De Kuil will Connect on a urban scale and social scale. A diverse set of housing typologies is designed for a large target audience and reinforces the versatility of the Afrikaanderwijk.

De Kuil, valley of connectivity

De Kuil aims to connect the urban developments and the social ambitions. The plan completes the Urban network and adds specific typologies and public spaces for target groups that have not been served in the Afrikaanderwijk. In addition to this de Kuil connects topographic elements of the location with the landscape of the courtyard.

The sheltered location in the bowl of the dike is the starting point for developing a unique identity for de Kuil.

By creating physical connections between the Paul Krugerstraat, Brede Hilledijk, the small park and the Jacominastraat we create enriched public spaces with a outspoken green personality for the residents and the neighbourhood to enjoy. This contrast connects the plan with the urban structure of the Afrikaanderwijk.

By sampling existing architectural elements of the Afrikaanderwijk the outer shell has a modern twist of connecting the facades to the surrounding streets.

De Kuil poses as tough and urban with this formal brick contour, but gives a kind and green heart to the neighbourhood. This green heart facilitates social interaction: residents and neighbours meet in a green sheltered inner area.

De Kuil connects social and demographic by adding different housing typologies that make the Afrikaanderwijk attractive for starters and families.

But the De Kuil is not only designed for people. by building with principles as nature inclusive and reinforcing existing ecological systems, Among others waterstoring and A for animals adjusted planting plan, we create a ecological connection. Birds and insects will find a suitable home.

With these strategies we connect sustainability with a healthy lifestyle. De Kuil looks forward, by connecting the plan to future developments and adding flexible building concepts. Parking lofts are transformable and can become houses with a garden. Home business typologies with a workshop at home prevent vacancy in the plinth.

In all areas in the plan we strive for connectivity. We connect neighbourhoods by finishing the urban network, connect the green, create height differences in the plan and offer a substantial amount of public space for encounters.

De Kuil connects to its surroundings with its appearance, however it is also the program in which we focus on a strong integration.

From dike to valley

The Vegetated dike to which the De Kuil plan will be resting is connected to the plan by creating a valley. The green structure on the ground level and the rooftops will naturally be continued in the plan. A part of this height difference will be used for parking lofts. De Kuil uses scenic elements like slopes and paths with which the hidden and valley’esk quality is increased.

This is also visible in the building masses and accents in heights, these shape towards the heart of the project in a stair like manner. this creates terraces that enhance the green image.

This “green” flows into the courtyard as a waterfall of plants. because of the terraces the houses point in the optimal direction, The sun.

This distinguishes the inner courtyard of De Kuil in terms of characteristics: a natural area that is hidden behind the formal and urban facades of the plan.

The plan in which we count the five different volumes including the future OBS Nelson Mandela looks like a closed city block in its entirety. The morphology of the volumes reinforces the identity of the location by moving downwards with terraces towards the central court. This is how the buildings together shape De Kuil. The greened terraces and roofs also strengthen this character by turning to the courtyard. The multitude of private and collective green outdoor spaces of the inner area, with a combination of greenery, slopes and soft and paved paths, add a piece of city with a unique residential environment. Here will soon be an urban oasis!

Up cycling of brick slips waste

In the materialisation of the brick outer shell we deployed a combination of beauty and sustainability by reusing. The waste of brick slip production will receive new life, in this production the brick is baked as a whole and cut on two sides to create the brick slips. What is left is a core that is seen as waste and will end, at best, as gravel under a highway.

it is, as we would say in dutch, a sin of death. Because the sawed bricks have a relative special surface, comparable to the quite costly terrazzo. Using this type of cut or polished stone surfaces in facades is often financially unachievable for housing projects.

One could say that it is almost ironic that waste products with a comparable appearance end on mountains of waste.

“The residual product of the brick slip has a abundance of potential, but is now only used to build mountains of waste”. With extensive research and conversations with suppliers did we succeed to select and intercept the residual bricks, the goal here is to, on a small scale, add them in the masonry works. This working method, a sturdy piece of up cycling, has a positive impact on the sustainability of the plan and at the same time ensures that the brick pallet of the facade is differentiated. A synergy between circularity and beauty! Moreover, sustainability is made visible in the plan, which ideally can serve as an inspiring example for future developments.


Facade in brick

The outer contour gets a coherent image and other hand a variety in materialisation and detailing that connects with the context. Every grain is build up in a specific hue of red- brown bricks, a masonry bond and a pattern of openings in the facade.

Plinth, mid and crown The facades on the side of the Paul Krugerstraat and the height accent in the bend of the hilledijk have a readable tripartition of plinth, midsection and top finish. this generates a recognizability and creates a modern view on a old architectonic style. The full facade of every grain is materialised in the same brick but varies in the structure and depth of the three parts. The plinth has masonry works that stick out which give depth and texture to this layer. The facade ending is highlighted by recessing the bricks. In the detailing of the facade openings, base and facade ending are further accentuated by recessed windows with a deep tilt. Both the protruding bricks in the base and the recessed bricks of the facade ending move in a gradient back to the flat brickwork of the middle section. This materialisation and detailing of the facades produces a surprising and contemporary image and also builds on the architectural and urban identity of the context. They add to this a contemporary chapter.

“A vally to connect”

Facades in wood In the inner area of De Kuil a scenic character dominates. Here, the wooden facades form a consistent whole, which starts directly from the entrance into the plan area. The wooden facades are light in colour and have better acoustic properties, which increases the quality and comfort of the inner area.

Team Renske van der Stoep, Georges Taminiau, Jona ten Napel, Rêve Deijkers, Hanan Aman, Berfin Mollavelioglu

Partners XML, Flux, Arcadis, Studio Spass, Priscilla de Putter

Client Heijmans Vastgoed

Visuals Vero Digital