Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Van Beuningenplein in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by Concrete
March 5th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Concrete
Van Beuningen square is located at the van Hallstraat, West district of Amsterdam. Building an underground two-layer parking facility gives cause for the redesign of the entire square. Based on the initial ideas of the West district of Amsterdam and Dijk&Co Landscape Architects, after a small closed competition, Concrete was asked to design the pavilions positioned on the square.
Looking at the bigger picture, Concrete introduced the concept to create a living room for the neighbourhood on the square, integrating the pavilions. The rectangular space is divided into zones. Each zone or room is adapted to specific functions and age groups. The rooms either are sunken into the ground or elevated.
Three zones are framed by steel beams, elevated 4 meters above ground level and connected to a pavilion. These beam frames create intimacy and shape room-type spaces on the square. Wooden pergola beams right-angled to the steel beams contribute to the space perception.
The first room is the entrance zone. Below the steel framework, the entrance is marked as well as the car entrance for the parking garage. The connection pavilion includes a teen-centre called ‘the garage’, a place for teenagers meet and organize activities. A hangout and ‘panna’ soccer field are situated on the roof.
The next room contains playing fields and skate spots. The living room is next to this, again a framed zone with picnic tables and a stage. The stage offers the possibility to give performances and install a movie screen. The stage additionally contains two snug sunken sitting areas and some trees. This framed room is connected to a pavilion containing the teahouse and accommodations for the square-supervisor. The roof is accessible from the teahouse and serves as a terrace.
In the final zone, the frame is connected to a smaller pavilion, to provide an additional passenger entrance for the parking garage. This framed room is furnished by design agency Carve. A blue wavy landscape filled with playing facilities, a sandbox and climbing trees. Swings hang from the wooden pergola beams and the steel frame contains a rain curtain.
The steel frames are accommodated with coloured LED lighting, which light up the rooms when the evening falls. The colours are programmed a year in advance and react to seasons and specifics days. For example, the square colours red on Valentinesday and orange on Queensday.
The square is furnished with red clinkers, big stone tree- and green planters, deep blue painted asphalt and rubber for the playing fields and playground. Almost all excising trees are preserved and supplemented with new plants and bushes. The pavilions are built with large glass facades, covered in steel mesh.
The glass makes the pavilion transparent and the mesh protects against the sun and bouncing balls. Where the green touches the pavilions, ivy will cover the facades in time. Large pivot doors (3,6 meters high) will open the teen-centre and teahouse, when the weather allows it.