The Paleiskwartier Housing block is placed within the new Paleiskwartier development in ‘s Hertogenbosch, formerly known as Wolfsdonken and close to the central station. The city has grown remarkably in recent years, and looks forward to having a major renovation, where the Paleis Kwartier has a major part involvement.
BV Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Paleiskwartier, represented by CREDO integrale planontwikkeling B.V.and Vesteda wanted the building to became a landmark within the urban frame. The aim for the closer surroundings was to create a gentle environment and give an easy access to the waterpond planned for the area, as well as a suitable entrance for the apartments on top. Therefore, the concept of the building reacts to both scales by breaking its volume in two. The lower volume contains the retail and the leisure part of the programme, as well as some apartments. This volume has a more organic and softer approach to the surroundings, making it similar to a wood trunk. The top volume, however, contains the mayor part of the housing programme, wrapped by a double skin façade of white concrete panels in two textures, and a major use of glass. The glass area increases as it climbs towards the top of the volume, thus achieving a lighter image and a more transparent image. Doing so, the building reaches client’s aim to be a landmark on the city, as a white rock over the city skyline during the day, and a glowing jewel during the night. Weaving both elements, and relating directly the block over the waterpond, a fissure runs up to meet the upper part of the white volume. This golden fissure, more similar to a tissue folding on the top volume, gives light and air to the usually dark landings of the housing blocks, and allows the volumes to have more opening area for the living spaces of the apartments. The apartments are laid out according to two service backbones, which allow them to have a flexible layout concentrating the service areas in rows, not spots, where they can run along and vary within the volumes. This layout allows the apartments to maximise their outdoor exposure to any view available, increasing the sense of spaciousness within.