The Archipelago is a competition entry for a three-part master-plan to enhance the Leeuwarden canal landscape.
Our proposal for the Leeuwarden Kanaalzone provides a new framework for an urban geography where the best elements from both the natural landscape and project program create a unique condition for living on the water. The framework enables an organization of housing program that is flexible and varied, envisioning a district where history and future, density and openness, identity and diversity coexist. The resulting spatial experience fluctuates between variation and continuity while relating to the canalized way of life in the Fryslân region.
The master plan sets out to divide the 19 hectare site into three distinct land uses: a housing zone, a leisure zone and a preserved, open zone. In response to geographic and circulation boundaries, we propose a linear landscape that integrates the entire housing zone from western to eastern edges of the site. Surrounded by water on all sides, the landscape becomes an artificial archipelago on which the housing program is rationally dispersed. The Archipelago promotes differentiation through a mix of housing typologies and varied landforms that are connected via a central park and multi-modal promenade. The atmosphere within the Archipelago is one of unintended encounters with both nature and society.
In order to cultivate our emphasis on diversity, we imagine the Archipelago as a multifunctional district. In addition to mixing-in retail, restaurant and leisure functions, our strategy avoids mono-programmatic qualities commonly found in nearby suburban communities by encouraging experimentation with new housing and building typologies. Drawn from a study of waterfront cities, a collection of 9 housing typologies, each with it’s own individual character, create neighborhood identities based on their distinctive interrelationships with water. Differing roofscapes and a range of building volumes form the spatial identity and variety of a village.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Leeuwarden, NL