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Triade | Housing Complex

Enschede, the Netherlands
2005,
Residential, Commercial, Urban,
Context, Density, Flexibility, Solar Energy,
Competition,
Design Team -

Robert Verrijt + Floris Cornelisse

Size -

20.000 sq.m.

Program -

120 apartments, school, public facilities, offices, public spaces


The medieval town centre, surrounded by residential quarters full of contrast is exemplary for the mid-sized European city. Many cities are struggling with undefined areas near railway zones or old industrial areas just outside of the city centre. Although the competition proposal for the Europan 8 on the site of the Municipal Yard in Enschede is a design specific and singular in its manifestation, it could serve as a model for cities with comparable problems.


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The large scale of the urban C_itadel is continued in the project through three sturdy residential blocks, which we call the Triade. From this high rise one can enjoy the breathtaking view of the green surroundings of Enschede. At the same time the site forms a link between the railway zone with large-scale development in the near future and the small scale of the residential garden village Zeggelt. At the two extreme corners of the site existing fragments, the local court building and the Sanders factory, form an essential part of the design. The fabric of the corner buildings and factory sheds of two stories are the anchors, which pin down the design in the context.  The three building blocks 'the Triade' are placed where the cultural route crosses the inner court. They are directed with their full building height to the inside and form the interior of the City Chamber.  The City Chamber marks a momentary sense of pause along the cultural route. The residential blocks of the Triade are set back from the periphery of the ceintuur in order to instigate curiosity from the outside. It also provides a comfortable distance towards the existing garden town villas to the north of the site. 


The rudimentary, introverted and pragmatic architecture produces an identity, which is recognizable, but at the same time merges like a chameleon in the urban fabric. The project is not a city in itself, but an integral part of the city.

Around the egg-shaped nucleus of Enschede, the city heart lays a belt of public facilities. Green areas surround these large complexes, such as hospitals, schools and government buildings.

At the place where the C ends to the north of the railway line it crosses a cultural route, running from the southern van Heekplein to Roombeek in the north. Exactly at this location the Gemeentewerf is situated.

Around the egg-shaped nucleus of Enschede, the city heart lays a belt of public facilities. Green areas surround these large complexes, such as hospitals, schools and government buildings. Together they form a C-shaped C_itadel around the city centre.

Site perception

This ceintuur is punctured on several specific places to establish a visual connection with the outside world.

Site material reference - The silhouette of the mass of the Triade, which rises above the wall of two-storey fabric refers at a subconsciously associative level to the textile mills of the industrial past of Enschede.

The characteristic walls of the former iron foundry Sanders are continued and embrace the site just like a ceintuur ; a girdle. This creates a silent inner court, which keeps out the noise of traffic of the city outside.

With 120 houses, a school and several recreational and commercial functions, the challenge is to realize a high density in an environment in which both the individual resident as well as an anonymous visitor can find their place.

Longitudinal and Cross Section through Residential Complex

The roof landscape of the townhouse typology consists of series of individual garden rooms on the slabs of the patio dwellings.

The apartment typology has extensive loggia's from where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the green surroundings of Enschede.

Within the same structural framework several apartment typologies are possible.

The mass, which remains between the ceintuur and the inner court, forms the 'passé partout'. This contains the program of home cum office units.

The silhouette of the mass of the Triade, rises above the wall of two-storey fabric refers at a subconscious level to the textile mills of Enschede's past.