The winner was selected from six shortlisted projects which were chosen by our esteemed jury panel: Julian Anderson, Studio Director at Bates Smart, Jo McCafferty, Director at Levitt Bernstein, Brendon Moss, Project Director at Qatari Diar and Adam Tither, Director at EPR Architects.
The judges felt that the shortlisted projects highlighted the range of possibilities within residential design, showcasing fantastic examples of what’s achievable within this sector. They were all in agreement that there was one clear winner on the day.
PATCH22, a 30m tall high-rise in wood, was one of the successful plans in the Buiksloterham Sustainability Tender in 2009. The initiators, the architect Tom Frantzen and building-manager Claus Oussoren, wanted to achieve independently what they had never been able to manage when working on commissions for their previous clients: an outsized wooden building with a great degree of flexibility, striking architecture and a high level of sustainability, not because that was what was required but because that is what ought to be done.
Julian was impressed with the building’s flexibility: “4m floor to ceiling heights allow the building to function for commercial or residential use. To avoid objections to change of use, a new kind of land-lease contract was drawn up in cooperation with the city. It appears to have created an ‘attractor’ or beacon which will contribute to stimulating development in the area.”
Jo went on to say: “I think it’s a really interesting project actually on lots of levels from the point about the flexibility between office and residential in this new part of the city which hasn’t sort of been developed so far, so its enabling you to become this interesting mix of office/resi. It's future proofing it if the bottom falls out of the housing market but it’s enabling a new community to grow. It’s inventive in terms of its architectural handling and constructions, it’s really clever.”
Brendon was impressed by the flexibility of the building and potential for future use: “It’s setting out for residential but in the future it could be used for commercial, so really it’s sustainable and you’re not going to have to knock it down. When reflecting on the façade: I think it really adds some character to it. If the brief was to create a space that was either office or residential and to make it look clearly ‘office’ is not the right approach to it, so maybe it should be ‘unisex’ in its appearance.”
Adam went on to discuss the interiors: “It’s spectacular. There’s a lovely story in terms of flexibility and personally I really like the interiors which are ‘super cool’. It feels like they’ve made a warehouse and converted it which creates wonderful light, space. It is striking and is a beacon for new generations.”
Jo agreed with Adam's comments on warehouse space: “It’s sort of an industrial space isn’t it? A raw industrial space. If you imagine that whole façade opened up and windows opened up with plants growing it could be an amazing façade couldn’t it? It’s sort of a nice frame work for something, which is what the project is all about.”
The most unusual feature of the building is the use of a wood as the main structure for the 30m-tall building. Moreover, the wood has largely been left visible, making this a key factor in the ambience of the apartments and the exterior.
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank not only the jury, but all who entered their projects into this years’ WAN Residential Award.