- Project: renovation for healthcare
- Program: medicare for drugaddicts combined with a neighborhood facility
- Client: Woonstad Rotterdam
- Design: Harmen van de Wal, Smahan Amrach, Sofia Fernandes, Sonia Sousa, Karzan Kakahama
- Garden design: Harmen van de Wal, Beverley Walker, Peter van Brandwijk
- Location: Rotterdam
- Start design: September 2005
- Realized: March 2008
- Consultants: Manja Ellenbroek, LEX-architects
- Constructor: adviesbureau Baas
- Contractor: Bam-Volker
- Building costs: €615.000,00
- photography: Ximena Davalos, Frank Hanswijk, Margi Geerlings
How to implement a necessary, but impopular program in a run down neighborhood? The double burden of these areas is that not only they form a poor and vulnarable society, but they also attract and generate socially unwanted populations of outfits, such as drug-addicts. In the Southbank of Rotterdam a vast program is being implemented to uplift the neighborhoods. Part of this program is the allocation of small user-centers for the heavily addicted drug-users. It provides them with the elementary hygiene and health care and, more importantly, it is a place to get some rest in their extremely stressfull daily life. These institutes are important for the neighborhood, because they keep the addicts from using on the street and provide them with a reason to behave. But this is an invisible advantage, meanwhile it is an institute nobody wants in his own street. To prevent the user-center to dominate the area and to give the neighborhood a visible advantage, we decided to combine it with a neighborhood-foyer. A facility for the local theatergroup to practice, the community of home-owners to meet, to organise emancipatory meetings for foreign women, or whatever other initiatives the community comes with.
Two houses, part of a larger building block, have been radically altered. A new structure was put over and through the original structure, set to combine two non-matching functions effectively. Therefore it has been subdivided into five slices. On both sides a zone with streight staircases, a transit zone a zone with smaller functional spaces, such as pantries, toilets, staff offices and a zone with larger living areas.