Transformation Willemstraat

Housing corporation Woonbedrijf

has moved from four different locations to one new office in the inner city of Eindhoven early 2016. Since the demand for rental properties is large and there will be future developments in the Emmasingel district, the office in the Willemstraat will be transformed into a temporary residential building. After a period of no more than 10 years, the current building will make room for new construction plans that are yet to be developed.

The target audience

for these buildings are young people of up to 23 years of age, for whom residential options are limited. On this location, they will have the opportunity to start their housing career among young employees, beneficiaries and young people with supervised housing. 

On the ground floor

there will also be a studio room for artists and designers. The purpose of this is that they will actively connect the future tenants with the current local residents by means of workshops or joint projects.

With the temporary nature

of the transformation of this building in mind, the idea was brought up to recycle old space boxes of the TU/e site, which made this plan achievable. 

The basic idea

of the plan is to realize 101 small housing units, 52 of which are space boxes around the perimeter of the building, 27 of which are space boxes inside of the building and the other 22 are regular apartments.

Plugging in these residential units

on the Willemstraat is reminiscent of the visionary plan ‘Plug-in City’. Between 1960 and 1974, the architectural firm Archigram made more than 900 construction plans, among which the one for Peter Cook’s plan ‘Plug-in City’. This provocative project depicts a hypothetical fantasy town that consists of modular residential units that have been placed in an infrastructural megastructure as ‘plug-ins’.

This Plug-in City is actually not a town

but a continually evolving framework that contains housing, transportation and other essential facilities for its inhabitants, which are all flexibly relocatable by using giant cranes. Since technology was advancing rapidly, the capsules could be updated quickly, just like new generations of mobile phones and operating systems follow each other these days.

The biggest architectural evil

that Archigram wanted to challenge was aiming for permanence. “After all, a building that cannot change will sooner or later turn into a ‘slum’ or an ‘ancient monument’. Boring!”

Credits

Project Name: Transformation Willemstraat

Location: Eindhoven – Holland

Client: Woonbedrijf – social housing corporation

Concept: Pascal Severijns & Fulco Treffers (Woonbedrijf)

Program: 101 housing units

Design: 2015

Completion: 2018

Photocredit: BASE Photography

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