19 – ATELIER KEMPE THILL – Hiphouse in Zwolle (NL)

19 – ATELIER KEMPE THILL – Hiphouse in Zwolle (NL)


Designer or design team: Atelier Kempe Thill, architects and planners
The project has been submitted by: Oliver Thill

Plot area: 2.500 mq
Gross Area: 6.399 mq

Of which
Residential: 100%
Public/communal areas: 0
Facilities for the public: 0
Business/trade: 0
Offices: 0
Number of residential units: 64

Typology of users: families, students
Total building costs 5.450.000,00 €
Building Cost = Total Building Cost / Gross Area: 851 €/mq
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 2,56
Work started on date: Saturday, 1st September 2007
Work completion date: Sunday, 1st February 2009


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The Hiphouse project in Zwolle presented Atelier Kempe Thill with a welcome opportunity to fundamentally question the assignment ‘social housing’. Largely due to the client’s ambition and the active support of urban planners, a prototypical project could be realized without exceeding a typical Dutch standard budget for comparable projects. A radical minimization of architectural means and a visible assertion of the processes and technologies of the building process helped to realize a maximum of living quality. The building block, measuring 23m x 32m and providing 8 units per floor, has a very limited facade surface in relation to its floor area; this favourably affects building costs and enables the high quality detailing of the facade. The housing units are organized around a central core containing a double stair and an elevator. The plan layout allocates the larger apartments to the spatially interesting corners, thus creating apartments with double orientation. The smaller studio apartments either face east or west, guaranteeing optimum sunlight for all apartments. To compensate for its volumetric compactness, the building’s surface is consistently glazed. Anodized aluminium profiles hold the high quality solar-protection glazing to form the facade.

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The arrangement of apartments along the volume’s perimeter creates the opportunity to insert a central atrium at no additional cost. A 5.4m high entrance hall gives access to this space, which measures a vertical 26m and is illuminated by a skylight. At the core of the building, the atrium lends an unexpected spatial generosity, which stands in surprising contrast to the external appearance. By its generosity the circulation space becomes an area for social interaction between inhabitants and adequately expresses the collective of an expedient alliance of tenants. nUpon entering the apartments it becomes evident that even in social housing real luxury should be indispensable. The units are very well lit, with minimal circulation areas and large living spaces with freestanding kitchen blocks. Loft spaces are not an exclusive form of living reserved for an elite group, but are also realizable in the context of social housing. An emancipation of the lower income classes will last but not least have to be achieved through an increase in the quality of individual housing.

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Woningstichting SWZ
Promoter:Woningstichting SWZ
Allotment rule: Invited negotiation procedure

Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:
assignment: 30%
rent: 30%

Country: The Netherlands
City/town: Zwolle
Address: Obrechtstraat 21-147, 8031 AN

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