Atelier Kempe Thill - Hiphouse project, Zwolle 2009. An amazing social/student housing project executed with a minimal budget, acting as a new prototype meant to eradicate the negative stigma associated with public housing. A central atrium, designed with low cost materials and detailed precisely with a variety of textures and monochromatic warm colors, allows for shared egress that minimizes the amount of vertical circulation required. This strategy also pushes all units to the exterior, and comparative to built area, does so with a minimal area of building envelope. The repetitive modules of operable, full height glass on the facade create an economy of scale that permitted precise detailing and execution, a craft typically unaffordable in similarly budgeted projects.
“At the dawn of a new era of neo-liberalism in Europe, social housing is once again regarded with increasing indifference. The implicit assumption is that apartments for the lower social classes ought to be small, cramped, dark, badly built and ugly. Gone is the feeling of constriction prevalent in traditional social housing. A maximum of spatial richness is possible with a minimum of means. It therefore doesn’t come as a surprise when a tenant says: ‘Never have I seen such beautiful sunsets as I do from my apartment.” It merely seems like a logical result of a rigorous conception of the apartment as architectural space.”