Sjouke Westhoff Arkitekt designs residential area for old business park in Capelle

In Capelle aan den IJssel, a former business park is being converted into a green residential area. For one of the sub-areas, Sjouke Westhoff Arkitekt has designed three detached houses and a block of flats with a strong focus on quality and references to the area’s history.

The business park De Mient is located between the center of Capelle and Hollandse IJssel. It served as a transhipment area for a shipyard and also provided space for a number of industrial sheds. The municipality wants to redevelop the site into a mixed area with space for living and working (on a smaller scale).

The Erhvervsparken has over time become a deviant industrial area, surrounded on all sides by residential areas, from which it is almost always separated by water. On the western side is the old De Mient barm, which gave the place its name. With the area’s new destination and the ambitions in relation to densification and sustainability, the municipality wants to preserve De Mient’s robust character.

At the same time, the renovated area must be better integrated with the surrounding residential areas. To this end, the historic waterway in Mient will be made easier to experience, and a slow-traffic route between Hollandse IJssel and the center of Capelle will be built across the site. There was also a desire to avoid parking on the street as far as possible and to create lots of greenery, says Sjouke Westhoff.

Spacious living room
Westhoff and his office designed a neighborhood with 28 single-family houses spread over three blocks and a building with 46 apartments. The apartments on the ground floor offer surfaces from 125 to 200 m22 and space for homework. A green area between the single-family homes and the terraced property provides space for play and recreation and forms an access zone to the apartment complex.

The apartment building, named ‘De Werf’ in reference to the area’s past, offers a wide range of residences with surfaces from 87 to 158 m.2. All apartments have a terrace or balcony and a private parking space at the bottom of the building. Commercial space is provided in the plinth next to the garage.

The high volume has a stepped structure; in the location and design of the building, the architectural firm has, among other things, taken sunlight into account.

“It is a neighborhood with a fairly high density and with the wishes regarding parking and greenery, the task was difficult,” says Westhoff. “We wanted to solve parking on our own property, so parking on the street is minimal, but there was also no need to realize a parking hub elsewhere. We have succeeded in that.”

“It was important to me to offer the future residents a quality living environment and also to take the local residents into account,” says Westhoff. “We held many brainstorms with the team and the neighborhood.” In addition to the parking solution and the added green zone, the rhythm of the buildings and the chosen material ensure quality, explains Westhoff. For example, good masonry was chosen with “a more advanced brick”.

Industrial and rhythmic
Sjouke Westhoff Arkitekt therefore received compliments from the quality team in the municipality for the careful architecture; It is particularly important for the municipality because De Mient is a ‘welfare-free area’. The municipality makes no demands on shape, colour, detailing and use of materials, but does require that promoters look for inspiration in the industrial robust appearance of the planning area.

In the design by Sjouke Westhoff Architect, the block of flats on the street side with its sawtooth roofs refers to the industrial buildings that used to be in the area. The design of the apartment building also has industrial references, explains Westhoff.

“The brick piers and the high, open parts in between, the windows and balconies refer to, for example, lift bridges or the industrial architecture of a century ago. There is also a rhythm that I took as a starting point,” he says. “The property building is actually a stack, just like containers on ships. This resulted in a grid that offered solutions to the puzzle of diversity and building possibilities.”

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