Het Mooie Plan
Art gives Rotterdam district character
As an architect, how do you ensure that a new neighborhood stands out and at the same time fits within the existing buildings? This question occupied the team of Joke Vos Architects. The answer lay in applying unique works of art to the facades of the 125 homes in the project Het Mooie Plan in Rotterdam. Visual artist Arthur Kleinjan realized a series of photographic works for this project. M2uur bv took care of the realization from digital design to assembly. This resulted in a very distinctive housing project as an homage to the garden city.
Dura Vermeer Bouw, Rotterdam
Joke Vos Architects, Rotterdam
Year of realization:
2009 – 2010
The 125 new homes are located in the Rotterdam neighborhood of Lombardijen. The neighborhood is a good example of the typical postwar garden city. Row houses on relatively modest, asymmetrical plots allow for a park-like urban design. Joke Vos Architects made these guiding principles her own in the design for Lombardijen’s newest extension. With integrated facade art, the experience of a park town is further enhanced.
A renowned visual artist was engaged in Arthur Kleinjan to capture the architect’s design vision in photographic images. Kleinjan realized an extensive series of works with reflections of nature from the surrounding area in the water. The works reflect the skies, the water, the trees and the elements. They form an ode to the green environment. Because of the magnification and the movement in the water, an extra layer is created in the work that continues to intrigue you as a resident and visitor.
Image selection was followed by a process in which the images were positioned on the facades. Each home in Het Mooie Plan has at least one design. But many homes contain multiple works or parts of works. Each block was given its own color palette and theme. At this stage, M2uur bv became closely involved in the project. We were commissioned to take care of the realization from positioning proposal to assembly.
The first step in the realization process was the digital layout of the images. The starting point here is always the maximum sizes of the material, in this case, HPL panels. In total, over 200 panels of Print HPL were made up containing approximately 450 design parts. Each part has a code printed along with it to facilitate assembly.
Parallel to the layout process, a series of tests were run. Print-HPL production is a partly artisanal process. The top layer of exterior plates gives a discoloration to the underlying image. You try to deal with this discoloration at this stage by correcting it in the color profile of the formatted files. Especially in a large project where correct coloring is very important, it is necessary to go through this carefully. After the approval of architect Joke Vos and creator Arthur Kleinjan, production started.
The panels were processed and assembled on-site. In this way, deviations in the dimensions, which arose during construction, could be resolved on the spot as much as possible. The designs were fitted in areas between frames, doors and masonry. The panels are fixed blind with tape and kit. In the event of any maintenance or damage, the panels can easily be removed and reassembled.
The result is beautiful. The symbiosis between art, architecture and urban design reinforces each other. New and yet seamlessly fitting into garden city Lombardijen, Het Mooie Plan is a pleasant place to live, play, and be. The prints on the facade provide recognition and an identity. Each home in Het Mooie Plan is, therefore, unique. The added value of integrated art is very tangible in this project.
Het Mooie Plan