ONE’s body of architecture work is small but distinct. ONE’s approach to architecture is akin to its urbanism: simple and open-ended designs provide a framework for incidents of true originality. ONE’s way of doing architecture has proven to be very effective in complex environments, such as areas of high density and historical significance, because of its conceptual flexibility and adaptability.
ELTA is a 16-unit apartment building in Buiksloterham in Amsterdam that One Architecture co-developed with a group of future tenants and Bot Bouw Initiatief . Unique in this building are the studio houses on the lower floors and the flexible mid-income flats which, while having the highest energy efficiency of any apartment complex in Amsterdam North, have a 16m long glass façade in each apartment.
The building is sporting a ceramic-clad façade to obtain extremely high thermal insulation in a relatively thin construction, thanks to a manufacturers combination unique for this project.
ELTA is part of the architects-led cooperative development Beleef Buiksloterham (‘Experience Buiksloterham’) which, to date, has resulted in the construction of eight discrete projects with a total of 280 dwellings as well as various commercial activities. The Beleef Buiksloterham development successfully turned a formerly unloved, post-industrial wasteland into one of the most popular areas in the city, with national and international attention to the new standards it has set regarding both sustainable urban development and new cooperative development methods.. Beleef Buiksloterham was one of five nominees for the prestigious bi-annual NEPROM award for real-estate development
St. Jozef, a monastery dating from the 1950’s, has been transformed into a health care centre. The architectural interventions set up a dialogue with the existing characteristics of the complex, such as the structure of the complex around the gardens, the sacral identity of the building and the catholic brick-hiding-the-underlying-concrete-architecture from the 1950’s. Apart from the two existing gardens, in which the former monastery garden reclaims its central position, the design provides a new ‘basement garden’ in the heart of the complex which allows the basement to become commercially exploitable.
The design reveals what was to be hidden in the 50’s; the monastery is in fact a contemporary building with modern techniques. By making a hard-cut section in one of the buildings, the true concrete core, that was once hidden from the world by a layer of brick, emerges. The exposure of the concrete behind the brick façade is carried on as a design motive in for example the wall of the lower extension of the ‘blood bank’ and in the concrete exterior of the waiting rooms. New artwork is added by Berend Strik.
WAF 2008, honorable mention
Hedy d’Ancona Award for excellence in health care architecture 2010, honorable mention
Gouden Piramide Award 2010, nomination
The villa the client built some twenty years ago was not in tune anymore with the family’s lifestyle, which centered on the garden. One Architecture was invited to design an extension.
In a brochure of villa examples that One Architecture put together for its client, ranging from Palladio to Ben van Berkel and OMA, only Mies’ Farnsworth house met with his approval. In the subsequent design, Mies was re-Schinkeled in order to achieve a simple increase in size.
Loosely using classical design techniques, One Architecture made a royal extension of the house towards the garden. The extension is slightly elevated such that the big scale of the open plan allows the eye to pass through the building and traverse the entire depth of the garden and landscape. Stainless steel sliding doors in the facade create the effect that the extension feels like a pavilion in nature where from the inside one can breathe the perfume of the trees and feel the warm breeze stroking one’s cheeks.
This anachronistic Miesian extension is loaded with contemporary technical features. The classical stainless steel cornice, for instance, contains a five-meter movable awning, a heating and anti-bug system for the terrace, and lighting fixtures reminiscent of headlamps.
With the artist Berend Strik, One Architecture made a curtain in Barnett Newman red and dark blue, with flowers on the scale of the architecture, which mirror the flowers in the garden.
The exhibition ‘The Stadium; the architecture of mass sports’ coincided with the European Football Championships in the year 2000.
The design of the exhibition in the main hall of the NAi brought to life the excitement, the entertainment, the spectacle and the drama of sport. This is why quite a few segments of sports stadiums have been replicated at life size in the main hall. The whole exudes the atmosphere of a sports complex. Interactivity with the audience formed an important aspect of the design.
The day care center for children, ‘the Castle’ is situated in an old school in Soest.
This pre One Architecture project was conceived in collaboration with Ton Venhoeven, Kirsten van den Berg, Daan Bakker and Mirjam Galjé. The unorthodox way of treating the existing building resulted in a maximum exploitation of the special possibilities, happy children and a mention in the Phaidon architectural guide for Holland.
In the design ONE made with O.M.A., XDGA and Ter for Les Halles, it is proposed to bring the dynamicism and the youth of the entire Île-de-France into the heart of Paris.
In the first, 1980s, version of Les Halles, this influx of Franciliens is stopped by the ‘cork’ of the shopping centre on top of the station (which, in its architectural style, reflects the banlieue). Les Halles 2.0, would allow the banlieue (in many ways more emancipated than ever, in others disenfranchised compared to the Parisian élite) to engage with the city.
The literal uncorking of Paris’ hidden reserves was to have been achieved by radically breaking through Les Halles’ stratified layers. These are, from top to bottom: a green neighbourhood park for the élite of the 1st arrondissement; the public program; the shopping mall; and the railways. In the proposal, the section was made vertical with a long gallery running from below all the way up to the surface, and with what we called ‘émergences’, small flexible buildings that literally emerge from the underground system.
A Mies for All wants to perfect the modernist project of accessible, mass-produced, quality architecture. It wants to bring the quality of a unique and authentic modernist design for the price of a standard building. Why would you want to live in a mimicked Mies van der Rohe (or Frank Lloyd Wright) if you can live in the original design of Mies (or Wright)?
By applying contemporary digital processes to these houses, one sees a radicalization of the vision of the architect. Mies van der Rohe in 1964 said: “I’ve tried to make an architecture that everybody can do.”
A Mies for All uses digital technology such that the traditional role of the architect can renew itself in the areas of software, technology, manufacturing and distribution.
Specially written parametric software makes it possible to optimize energy and materials. The composition, the height and width ratio of a building can be adapted to the situation and the location. The entire original design has been put in BIM, so that 2083 parts can be considered separately based on, for example, costs of production and transport, or on their ecological footprint. It allows individuals to look for alternatives by part, or by location. ‘Apps’ and an Internet forum involve interested people in the project, to see what has changed and can be improved, and to solicit contributions from other experts.
The Farnsworth House is originally built on the basis of an exceptionally high degree of workmanship, in a very laborious manner. For example, first the steel parts with bolts and nuts are attached to each other. Then they are welded, and then the bolts are buffed and sanded. Such production is unthinkable at this time.
Because the goal of A Mies of Allis to build a simpler Farnsworth, a production method has for instance been developed for a CNC-controlled wood version of the House. With the help of the computer, the whole building is exploded into patterns for plywood with a minimum of different parts and the most efficient use of plates. The plate thickness is adaptable in the program, so it works both in the U.S. and in Europe. After delivering the patterns to your local computer-controlled router, the construction package can be picked up after a short time. In this new version of Farnsworth, the energy efficiency in particular, both in terms of production and of its use, is greatly improved compared to the original one.