In urbanism, ONE has learned how design can help simplify and smoothen complex puzzles, and, through that, to create space for others to engage in the city. ONE has extensive experience in designing the interrelationship between the city and its infrastructure, as well as the interrelationship between organizations, finances and territory. ONE is at the forefront of sustainable, resilient urbanism and smart city technology. One Architecture has worked prominently on the Netherlands’ spatial planning. Initially for private clients, ONE helped develop the project for Schiphol at Sea and, in a series of studies for the Consortium Transrapid, ‘Randstad Round’, as well as on several of the national government’s most important planning projects. More recently, ONE has worked internationally on projects for the German federal ministry, Delhi 2050, 100 Resilient Cities, the Asian Development Bank and the Regional Plan Association.

Almere Pampus is a large-scale urban development of 1000 hectares for about 25.000 – 35.000 new dwellings. The project will be implemented in phases from 2030 to 2050 in the low-lying greenfield polder, which is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and the subsidence of its clay soil. The 2030-2050 timeframe allows for designing with a temporal dimension, where the development of soil, water system, and green get a 10-20 year head start, allowing the urban developments to grow with stable soil, water retention capacity, a rich ecosystem and matured green.

Following the work on Resilience by Design MRA, the municipality of Almere asked ONE to explore the pre-development possibilities of green and blue for preparing their master plan. Together with Smartland Landscape Architects, ONE researched how designing with time and tackling the current soil and water issues as a prerequisite for urban development can reduce maintenance, adaptation costs, and damage risks and add health benefits and real estate value.

The project stretches the time horizon for risk assessment from 2050 to 2100 to create different climate realities, not currently accommodated in local policy and practice. It uses the time before the real-estate development to pre-develop nature-based solutions that require time to grow. The current soil and water conditions, with their archaeological layers, stable Morene Sand locations, saline water intrusion and differentiation in the extent of subsidence, create opportunities for informing possible areas of high-density development, lake construction for counter-pressure on groundwater seepage and limit digging.

The design research showed the influences of the pre-development of the climate adaptive layer on both spatial and economic development and decision-making processes. ONE has worked with the municipal urban designers to show in scenarios how accounting for long-term climate impacts results in achieving a wide range of residential and recreational environments that are beneficial both from a climate impact reduction perspective and increase livability.

The project also advises the municipality of the benefits of turning climate impacts and their effects into development strategies where spatial reservations are made on the safer side of the spectrum. For example, large water retention areas can hold additional functions (besides recreation and ecology) as thermal heat generators for urban development. Water and wetlands can partly double as space for unique living environments and generate valuable developable space.

The research was also financially supported by Creative Industries Fund NL.

  • Project period: August 2021 – August 2023
  • Client: Municipality of Almere
  • Collaborators: SMARTLAND

The ONE Resilient Team [led by One Architecture & Urbanism with Smartland, Arcadis, OverMorgen, Drift, Climate Adaptation Partners, and various centers at the University of Pennsylvania] was selected as one of two teams to participate in the Resilience by Design: Amsterdam Metropolitan Region (RBD MRA) program. With a focus on the MRA’s urbanized parts, the ONE team collaborated with government organizations, knowledge institutes, and local stakeholders in the region to provide creative and integrated solutions to climate-adaptive development.

Over the past few months, the team advanced with its analysis of climate impacts, stressors, and thresholds to identify areas of opportunity for planning and design to embed climate adaptation in urban space. For the selected sites as a result of the study—Beverwijk, Haarlem, Haven-Stad, and Almere —the team developed strategies and demonstration projects to solidify climate adaptation as a ‘normal’ part of integrated investment decisions now and in the future within the MRA. The final RBD proposals were presented to the many stakeholders and at the Deltaconference in November 2020, and already serve as climate-adaptive inputs for the implementation program and investment agenda of the MRA’s ‘Urbanization Strategy’ for 2050 and beyond.

The final report presented by ONE Resilient Team is available here.

The Achterhoek region in the Netherlands is facing significant transitions. While the demands of the current agricultural practices exceed the capacities of the landscape and ecosystem, the changing climate is putting more stress on the region’s economy and ecology. Meanwhile, the local social and spatial fabrics appear vulnerable to increased inland migration, which was first observed after the COVID pandemic and will continue to swell in the long term if (or when) the lower and more densely populated parts of the country become less suitable for living due to the impact of sea level rise. For the prestigious Eo Wijers competition for regional planning, a joint team of ONE and Arcadis focused on a multifold strategy towards a sustainable and resilient landscape, economy and ecosystem.

Naoberschap (neighborliness), once a social obligation in this region to support your neighbor and collectively act to develop the region’s barren lands, nowadays lives on as a cultural identity. Naoberschap becomes the backbone towards developing a more resilient community in light of the transitions to come. Tapping into the sense of agency of the various social, agricultural and business networks, ONE and Arcadis proposed to connect these initiatives and give spatial guidance. They proposed a transition towards circular food agriculture and paludiculture in the fertile lands of the creek landscape that shall be restored to its natural outlines and regain lost water retention capacity. On the other hand, in less fertile lands, a transition is made towards fiber crops and forestry to reduce environmental impacts and to provide construction materials that capture carbon and facilitate future housing demand.

While the older and more organically developed fertile lands maintain their well-appreciated spatial quality, the younger and larger scale landscapes transitioning to fibre crops will develop a spatial framework between patches of forestry, with the capacity to accommodate new economic and residential development. Design strategies will help scale up the initial prototypes of living and working in the landscape and farmhouse transformations towards more engaged, resilient, biobased and circular communities of next-generation Achterhoekers and welcomed newcomers.

Read more about the proposal here.

Naoberschap met een grensoverschrijdende blik from Eo Wijers-stichting on Vimeo.

  • Project Period: December 2022 — June 2023
  • Competition organizer: Eo Wijersstichting
  • Collaborators: Arcadis

The Regional Deal of Zaan IJ focuses on increasing the broad welfare in the socially and economically vulnerable neighborhoods within the Zaan IJ region; Poelenberg, Peldersveld, Molenwijk, and Tuindorp Oostzaan. As the project leader for the long term design assignments, ONE formulated interventions to support design assignments and also increase the welfare in the region, both now and in the future. The main advice is to always combine a spatial measure and a social measure and to integrate long-term design assignments with short-term social outcomes by linking measures to existing projects in the pipe-line.

After the analysis of socio-economic and environmental stresses, the team identified five areas of interventions to formulate measures that contribute the most:

  • Greening the city
  • Creating resilience hubs in the built environment
  • Establishing slow-traffic connections
  • Improving the housing stock for noise reduction and climate insulation
  • Additional measures for public transport and technical education

ONE team collaborated with government organizations, knowledge institutes, and local stakeholders in the region to develop 90 long-term and short-term measures and a prioritization matrix to shortlist 25 of these measures for the analyzed assignments. The prioritization matrix considered parameters like the 35 broad welfare indicators (CBS), social, economic and environmental impact scores, neighborhood needs, administrators’ interviews, and opportunities to link to the existing projects. The final proposal of the analyses, the prioritization and spatial location of the measures and the advice were presented in the Zaan IJ directors’ meeting. They chose two focused and concise ‘Green Measure Clusters’; Cluster A: Community food gardensand Cluster B: Climate-proof green sports and play spaces, to be implemented with the financial support of the Regional Deal. The principles and outcomes of the project will also be taken on board for all the projects within the new RegioDeal.

  • Project Period: September 2022 — June 2023
  • Client: Regional Deal consisting the Municipalities of Zaanstad, Amsterdam, Oostzaan, the Province of Noord Holland and the National Government
  • Collaborators: &Flux, Muzus

The “Soil for Broad Welfare” project focuses on understanding soil as the cause of negative effects on broad welfare and, at the same time, an opportunity for making a positive contribution towards increasing broad welfare. The context of this research by design is the Regional Deal ZaanIJ, in which the province and the region invested in four socially and economically weaker neighborhoods of Amsterdam and Zaandam, to benefit the residents from investments towards the broader transformations of this region.

Pollution, overcrowded subsurface space, limited microbiome life, subsidence, high groundwater, and limited water storage capacity have physical and social impacts on the environment and mutually reinforce each other. These negative relationships often arise from spatial choices made in the past, where the effects on health and quality of life were still unknown or not recognized.

By including the properties of the soil and groundwater in urban areas within the design choices at an early stage, negative effects from the past can be limited or reversed and positive contributions can be made to broad prosperity. Physical aspects of the living environment like safety and spatial quality, and social aspects like quality of life, health, and equality of opportunity, increase overall impact and therefore require integrated spatial measures.

ONE has developed design guidelines that help make soil pollution a driving force in harbor transformation into urban habitats, thereby saving time and money, and creating a positive impact on adjacent neighborhoods that can benefit quickly from investments, accessibility, housing, and jobs. For existing neighborhoods in deep vulnerable polders, ONE developed design guidelines to consider groundwater and ecology as a part of urban infrastructure. This gives these neighborhoods healthy soil and more water storage capacity to improve their quality of life and health both in public and private domain.

The “Soil for Broad Welfare” project phase one was realized with a subsidy from the Creative Industries Fund NL.

  • Project Period phase 1: November 2022 — June 2023
  • Client: Regional Deal Zaan IJ with Municipalities of Amsterdam, Zaanstad, and Oostzaan, Province of North Holland and National Government
  • Collaborators: &Flux, Muzus, Annette Postma – Everything is Health

Haven-Stad is a complex former harbor transformation to a new high density urban development of 40.000-70.000 new homes and commercial functions. It is located adjacent to the North Sea Channel, a technological river that serves as a spine of a larger area. Following the work on Resilience by Design MRA, One was asked by the municipality of Amsterdam and the water cycle company Waternet, to look at the long term water safety in Haven-Stad. With additional financial support of the Creative Industries Fund NL, One investigated at how to make the area long term resilient for flooding from the coast and channel, cloudburst resilient and at the same time increase the spatial quality. Due to the climate uncertainties till 2100+, One took the actual useful lifespan of the physical assets as a key of what must be determined and fixed now and what can be adapted over time.

One’s design for Minerva Harbor used the various existing and new surface levels to create dry areas for critical and vulnerable infrastructure and people as well as low lying keys with accepted flooding risks for a good water relation. Locating some streets at +2m above current sea level (NAP) creates a robust backbone with a long lifespan. This helps to keep the area accessible and fastly operationable during and following a flooding event, creating a place to reach the existing low lying vulnerable areas.

The low-lying Melkweg area shows that, in addition to raised infrastructure, smart choices in housing typologies and urban placement of functional programs can support flood impact reduction. The advice from the Delta Commissioner to use 10% of low lying polders for possible water retention is transformed into creating recreational, natural spaces and places with houses above retention basins. In this way, Melkweg area can support the resiliency of the existing surrounding low lying vulnerable areas.

In this way Haven-Stad can continue to develop future proof in spite of all the uncertainties in long-term climate impacts and its related policies and regulations and without being afraid for water blocking thereby the use of the spatial qualities of water.

  • Client: Municipality of Amsterdam, Waternet
  • Performance period: August 2021 – February 2022
  • Collaborators: Municipality of Amsterdam, Waternet

Building with Nature Asia is a regional initiative by Wetlands International and the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in collaboration with EcoShape, the Global Centre on Adaptation, and ONE, convened in Indonesia, Philippines, India, Malaysia, and China to create 15 climate-resilient landscapes in the five countries by 2025, and scale up after throughout the continent. ‘Building with Nature’ integrates ecosystems services into water infrastructure practice. It has proven itself as a successful participative approach for coastal, river, lake and delta management, combining ecosystem restoration and engineered solutions in an optimal mix. Building with Nature solutions have multiple benefits: they can accelerate adaptation, enhance water and food supply, livelihoods, carbon storage, biodiversity conservation and health. This initiative aims to establish a Building with Nature Asia platform that can mobilize public and private actors, support implementation and up-scaling, facilitate knowledge development and foster exchange of experience between countries.

The team is currently setting up a “Centre of Excellence” that promotes Building with Nature approaches in Indonesia and throughout the region. An initial realized project is in Demak, directly adjacent to Semarang city, and addresses problems of subsidence, land loss, and flooding in the district. In Building with Nature projects, engineers and scientists work with the local communities and national and international stakeholders on integrated solutions for Nature-based Solutions at scale. In this program, ONE is designing the landscape propositions for each site. These landscape propositions are used as an engagement and project definition tool. Additionally, ONE consults the program at large about the interplay between physical and social elements of Building with Nature.

The initiative has been featured at one of the side events of the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021, “Accelerating Adaptation through Building with Nature in Asia.” The presentation video is available to view here.

At the culmination of a decade of Building with Nature research and practice in Europe and Southeast Asia, the EcoShape consortium initiated a research publication to document their experience and lessons learned. ONE was selected to co-edit and develop this volume, at once a research compendium and call to action.

Through this research, ONE engaged experts and stakeholders to discuss Building with Nature methodologies and key findings from the practice of this innovative approach to water-related Nature-based Solutions, as well as enablers for implementation. The investigation was structured within a framework of six landscape typologies: sandy coasts, muddy coasts, lowland lakes, rivers and estuaries, cities, and ports. For each landscape, ONE and EcoShape identified and evaluated Building with Nature concepts for applicability and efficacy. In addition, ONE developed a series of system analysis diagrams that unpack each of the landscapes, connecting their physical and biological composition to underlying ecological, social, political, and economic systems. Through this body of knowledge, EcoShape aims to capture the imaginative and inspirational potential of Building with Nature and ultimately create a roadmap for practitioners and decision-makers to engage more deeply with the philosophy and approach.

The resulting publication, Building with Nature: Creating, implementing, and upscaling Nature-based Solutions, was released in 2020 from nai010 publishers. As the researchers, editors, illustrators, and voices of BwN, ONE has gained a deep familiarity with the dynamics that shape the various landscapes as well as the science and applicability of the concepts in a range of environments. Through close working relationships with EcoShape team and its experts, ONE has been immersed in the innovative and collaborative process of the BwN network and its stakeholders.

Read more about the book here.

  • Project Period: February 2020 — November 2020
  • Client: EcoShape
  • Collaborators: EcoShape team
  • Book Design: Vanessa van Dam, Adriaan Mellegers

The Blue lifelines for a Secure Sahel (BLiSS) initiative will build the resilience of poor and vulnerable rural communities of the Sahel in the face of growing water shocks and food insecurity, by improving the status of wetland systems – the Blue Lifelines. By adding value to existing climate change adaptation, land degradation and wider development initiatives across the region, at least 6 major wetland systems will be revived, benefitting around 10 million people.

ONE supported Wetlands International in identifying potential investments in the Inner Niger Delta and Nile Basin wetland systems. The team worked with local stakeholders to identify key ecosystem services and develop a range of nature-based and policy solutions to reduce ecological and economic stressors. The analysis considered ecosystem health based on seasonal wetland changes and changes due to climate change, geopolitical conflict, and infrastructure and economic development.

The project has been featured during the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021. The presentation video is available here.

  • Project Period: August 2020 — December 2020
  • Client: International Climate Initiative (IKI)

One Architecture is the urban planner and supervisor for Gouda Oost. In the past years, Gouda-Oost had become an (undeserved) symbol of the difficulties in new towns. When ONE started, in 2008, residents, municipality and housing corporations had already been cooperating for some time to transform and upgrade this neighborhood in Gouda without much success. In an essay, One Architecture suggested an adaptive ‘open’ plan that will be filled in piece by piece, by involving local authorities, stakeholders and especially local residents. With the urban plans for 3 different parts, One Architecture has now elaborated the first parts of the renewal.

The urban plan comprises a new, green, public area, the ‘Oversteek’ (traverse). The new and existing neighborhood facilities, like shops, supermarkets, a community school, the existing church and the mosque, are all situated along this area. The construction of the Oversteek is linked with the realization of an ambitious and diverse housing program, which will accommodate both existing and new residents, as well as special target groups. By dividing the housing groups into small plot the architecture will aid to showcase the newfound diversity.

The landscape is an important bearer of the developments in the neighborhood. Therefore, there has been an intensive collaboration with Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects. Central to this is the consolidation of the existing structure of green-bordered waterways.

ONE was commissioned by NYC Parks and the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency as part of a multidisciplinary team to develop a resilience vision for the East Harlem neighborhood, extending from East 92nd to 154th Street. The result of this year-long study is a comprehensive plan for adaptation to climate change impacts through an integrated approach that includes coastal protection measures, stormwater management, and urban heat island strategies within a larger framework for open space and increased social resiliency.  

The project also sought to use its process to grow a culture of resiliency in East Harlem. Through an innovative stakeholder outreach, the team partnered with DREAM Charter School to co-develop a high school curriculum in resiliency planning as well as link to a network of community institutions and residents. The resiliency planning curriculum exposes students to principles and methodologies related to neighborhood mapping, analyzing social vulnerability, and designing green infrastructure. This effort resulted in the publication of a 20-lesson curriculum made available for other schools to teach, and demonstration projects by the students across the neighborhood. 

The public report is available here.  

As part of the Fourth Regional Plan, One Architecture & Urbanism and Only If were commissioned by the Regional Plan Association (RPA) to develop a proposal for repurposing an underutilized freight line as a commuter transit system linking together the outer reaches of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Re-conceptualizing existing right-of-way and adjacent spaces, the new “Triboro Corridor” would create a 24 mile long linear park and greenway, anchored by a new passenger rail line and a bike “superhighway,” stitching together underserved regions of the outer boroughs. The multi-layered schematic includes an integrated stormwater management system, fed by the adjacent street networks. Combining large catalytic projects with smaller organic development, The Triboro Line generates capacity across the outer boroughs for the growth of regional affordable housing while keeping value creation local.

Acknowledging the complex dynamics of city-making, the Triboro Corridor moves beyond traditional transit-oriented development (TOD) modes that focus predominantly on densification of areas immediately surrounding stations. In this sense, the plan focuses not only on the station nodes, but also the in-between spaces, where community life is created and fostered.

The Triboro Corridor calls for an innovative use of existing public resources by an entrepreneurial local government while incentivizing private actors. The proposal underscores that development processes must be simultaneously shaped by large concrete projects and smaller organic growth. The proposed plan provides a “kit of parts” for inclusive growth maximizing social benefit, promoting civic empowerment, and optimizing economic revenue. Site-specific design proposals not only encompass physical interventions, but also outline regulatory measures and community development tools, resulting in a strategy that can be implemented incrementally. The approach is not a masterplan, but plays out through the development of three guiding strategies: a low-carbon corridor, processes for the coming clean economy, and catalysts for near-term implementation.

Designs created for the Triboro through this year-long, collaborative process were integrated into the RPA’s Fourth Regional Plan, a 2018 exhibition at the Center for Architecture (AIA-NY), and have been awarded for design excellence by AIA-NY, ASLA-NY, and The Architect’s Newspaper (AN).

The Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) Project was a follow on study to the BIG U proposal (for 2014’s Rebuild By Design competition); the second major project area to move forward after ESCR was initiated.

For NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, One Architecture completed feasibility, planning, and concept design studies to understand the best strategies for implementing flood protection and park improvements along the coastal periphery of Lower Manhattan. Representing an incredibly diverse physical, social, and political cross section of the city, this project posed many challenges and opportunities in synthesizing broader urban agendas in the implementation of flood protection. ONE leveraged our expertise from previous and concurrent resilient infrastructure projects to test the feasibility of different implementation strategies in terms of spatial, structural, and regulatory considerations.

The LMCR core study articulated a series of flood protection compartments which the City has since taken up as discrete projects, including Battery Park City Resiliency and the Brooklyn Bridge Montgomery Resiliency (BMCR) projects.

Lower Manhattan Long Term Plan, a sub-project within LMCR, dealt with the long-term fate of Lower Manhattan, addressing larger topics outside the coastal infrastructure realm such as the possibility for increased civic placemaking, rethinking transportation systems, unlocking funding, and incremental adaptation to an ever-evolving environmental context. This work was presented in the Lower Manhattan Climate Resiliency Plan, and set the stage for ONE’s current role on The Financial District and Seaport Climate Resilience Master Plan.

Within Randstad 2040, the Structure Vision on the development of the Randstad that passed the Dutch cabinet in 2008, Matthijs Bouw initially led the theme ‘networks’, in which ONE produced a number of alternative scenarios for infrastructure (and tied them to the spatial choices that each demanded). The purpose of the models was to be able to talk about the functionality of the Randstad and the positioning of program and infrastructure. Clear definitions of the models and simple names were chosen deliberately, in order to be able to reach a wide public.

Subsequently, Matthijs Bouw was studio-master of the ‘integration’ studio, where the findings of the two other themes (housing and landscape) where integrated in order to provide a clear set of choices for the involved ministries.

The whole process was followed by an exploration of the so-called Randstad Key Projects following from the Structure Vision. The exploration of these projects (done with O.M.A.) has resulted in the publication “Differentiëren, Calibreren en Integreren Ontwerpende verkenning naar sleutelprojecten in het kader van de Structuurvisie Randstad 2040”. ONE’s research showed that a central issue in the definition of the key projects was the redefinition of the central government, which had been watered down by two decades of decentralization and liberalization. It is better to differentiate between types of projects and, in the interest of regional area developments, to stimulate the relationship between the central government and regional government based on the market principle of quid pro quo. The report followed this advice up with the actual definition of key projects.

For the Dutch government-led Water as Leverage challenge, ONE assembled an interdisciplinary, international team of designers, engineers, economists, ecologists, anthropologists, art activists, and academics to tackle water-related risks and opportunities in Semarang, Indonesia. 

The ONE team developed a city-wide, integrated vision spanning from the region’s coast to its hilly urban periphery. The proposal puts forth potential interventions with multiple benefits centered around eco-industrial clusters, water security, resilience communities, and a protective coastal greenbelt. Only as part of a comprehensive approach, the team described, would any individual infrastructure project achieve a net positive effect on the drastic rates of subsidence (largely due to groundwater extraction and aquifer depletion), sea-level rise, and rapid urbanization presently occurring in Semarang. 

The design approach is comprised around three connected resilient systems: 1) an optimized water capture and recycling system; (2) an integrated (eco, industrial, logistic) protective coastal zone; and (3) a network of resilient kampungs (districts). Many of the component sub-projects within these systems – street-level green infrastructure, water conveyance and retention systems along toll roads, protective greenbelts built into waterfront industrial sites, offshore barriers around inundated port areas – tie into the city’s planned or ongoing capital projects in the coming years. As part of the challenge, the team co-developed these potential projects and concepts alongside city agencies, local stakeholders, businesses, and communities. 

Since the delivery of the final program proposals in mid-2019, ONE and Kota Kita have continued working between RVO and the Indonesian government entities on capacity building, integration and adoption of concepts, and (ultimately) a series of targeted infrastructure investments. 

The Final Report is available here.   

Dutch Design Awards 2020 in Best Commissioning category (Water As Leverage program), Oct 2020 

In 2017, ONE was commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) alongside LEVEL Agency for Infrastructure to review the initial master plan for New Clark City, the Philippines, as well as developing a new river study and resilience framework with guidelines. 

This proposed green city, to be situated about 100 kilometers north of Manila in the Philippines, would be home to government centers, an agro-industrial park, a major sports complex, and more. ONE played a pivotal role in integrating resilience strategies linking water management and green space to all open systems circulating throughout the speculative metropolis, creating a comprehensive flood protection strategy for the entire city closely linked into efforts strengthening social resilience. 

As a deliverable of the review, ONE and Level developed a series of recommendations guiding further study of the river zone (resulting in the River Study with River Zone Plan) and mapped implementation pathways using a resilience framework, resulting in a sector-based Resilience Framework with Guidelines. The intent of the River Study with River Zone Plan was to leverage the identity-building and untapped assets of natural rivers in New Clark City. ONE and Level developed the River Study which analyzes challenges in planning and implementation resilience, and proposes design opportunities to optimize the river zone as a productive and protective ecosystem that provides immediate benefits for the city while integrating long-term climate adaptation strategies as well. It also identifies opportunities to link the river zone, designed with a baseline of mitigating 100-year storm events, to other green zones and connectors throughout the city, utilizing a mix of hard and soft infrastructure to align with land use and potential programming. 

All of these studies were intended to embed principles of resilience into the city’s development narrative, which profiles itself as a smart, green, disaster-resilient city, articulating core values related to resilience alongside high-level guidelines for achieving them, emphasizing nature-based solutions, and integrating physical and social interventions. 

Read more about the New Clark City Resilience Framework here. 

  • Project Period: September 2017 — January 2018 
  • Client: Asian Development Bank (ADB), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) 
  • Collaborators: LEVEL Agency for InfrastructureArcadis  

BCDA, July 2021

IBONintenrnational, Dec 2019 

Business Mirror, Dec 2019 

Rappler, Feb 2019 

CNN, July 2018 

BluPrint, May 2018 

Concord is susceptible to the impacts of climate change, namely increases in heat, rainfall, and storms, and damage caused by riverine and stormwater flooding. While the Town of Concord has excelled at taking action to prevent the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, the Town still has more to do to prepare for localized changes that are already underway. Concord’s town centers can be made more resilient to the current and upcoming impacts of climate change through planning efforts which will allow businesses and residents to continue enjoying their town amidst changing conditions and challenges. The plan for Sustainable Concord aims to provide an actionable roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving our natural resources, and preparing all residents for the impacts of climate change. ONE worked to develop resilience design recommendations for the Main Street Milldam area and the business center in West Concord. 

To develop a long-term strategy for a resilient and vibrant village, the team performed an extensive vulnerability analysis, by reviewing past work, analyzing data on climate impacts, identifying vulnerabilities, and engaging with local businesses, schools, and residents. The team has developed preliminary recommendations for Concord’s town centers via urban design, architecture, and policy solutions. 

The plan is available here.

The Moakley Park Vision Plan balances outdoor recreational needs and community gathering spaces for a major park in South Boston, with protection against climate-change impacts such as flooding from increased rainfall and sea-level rise. The plan provides a vision for the programmatic development of the park that ensures a diverse and balanced mix of uses, increases active recreational opportunities, cultural amenities, and safety. At the same time, it will consider how the design of the park can help increase the neighborhood’s resilience against coastal flooding and reduce the impact of rainfall on recreational fields.  

The planning process itself seeks to stimulate meaningful and inclusive community engagement and identify both a long-term design approach to the park that encourages a wide range of users as well as early ‘catalyst’ projects and partnerships to help promote and sustain future park renovation projects. The vision will seek to increase connectivity between Moakley Park and adjacent neighborhoods as well as Carson Beach and The Boston Harbor Islands, just steps away. The Vision Plan process spanned the course of a single year. Four major community events were planned during this time. For these events, ONE and Stoss designed immersive public engagement centered around play activities simulating flood protection and interactive exercises to help determine the park’s future programming. In addition, the team conducted a routine series of open houses, interviews, and stakeholder meetings. In the initial stages of the project, a Community Advisory Board was formed to inform the design team of questions, concerns, and aspirations for future users of Moakley. In Fall 2018, ONE and Stoss were invited to the Ontario Climate Consortium to present on their innovative techniques through an imitation engagement session, Lateral Dialogues.  

Presently, the team is working on the schematic design of the full park, as well as developing the “Phase 1”  project which will commence construction in late 2021. 

A+ Awards, Landscape & Planning, Unbuilt Landscape category, 2022

American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award, Planning and Analysis, 2022

Curbed Boston, Mar 2019 

NRPA (National Recreation and Park Association), Apr 2019 

Dorchester Reporter, Mar 2019 

Engineering News-Record, Dec 2019 

Xili reservoir was constructed in the 1960s to address the severe shortage of drinking water in Shenzhen and has since been an important water source for the city. While it is a rich ecological resource, the reservoir is facing many threats from the development of surrounding villages. Therefore, the team [ONE, LOLA Landscape, Land+Civilization Compositions, Taller Architects] suggested nourishing the natural system through the Blueways and providing a resilient natural base for its future sustainable development.

As an overall ecological strategy, ONE has proposed a three-layered greenway system that circles the reservoir, filters the water from uphill to downstream, and provides public activities for the villages. The three greenways are joined by the Blueway corridor of seven rivers to create an interlocking resiliency framework. The greenway system comprises 1) a protective greenway around the border of the site on the mountain ridge, 2) a connective greenway linking the three villages, and 3) a recreational greenway surrounding the reservoir. The protective greenway on the mountain will filter the runoff before it flows into the river, providing hiking paths that connect to the surrounding forest parks. The connective greenway changes the existing road to connect the three villages as green infrastructure and makes the villages into spongy areas and green buffer zones through buildings and street renovation. The recreational greenway integrates wetlands and pedestrian paths to protect the reservoir and at the same time provide public access for the public to enjoy the reservoir.

ONE has also looked at resiliency from the site’s nature, water, and village system. Currently, the site is vegetated with mostly lychee and fast-growing trees with little ecological value. We wanted to restore the biodiversity on site while promoting eco-tourism. For the water system and rivers, we introduced a Nature-based design for their natural upstream parts, the village middle stream parts, and the reservoir’s downstream parts. And we have proposed a unique strategy for each of the river parts depending on its section and program. For the villages, the team presented integrated resiliency strategies for the building, street, and node scale, systematically organizing the drainage system and turning the villages into green-spongy areas.

The proposal was conceived as part of the “International Competition of Overall Conceptual Planning and Landscape Design for Blueways around Xili Reservoir” and won the 2nd prize.

This international competition sought to develop the village of Shenshan into a coastal “smart city” and a destination for tourism and commerce. Located 150km east of Shenzhen on the South China Sea, the Shenshan Cooperation Zone is a historically maritime area surrounded by mountains, remote islands, and marshy river deltas. Together with Mayslits Kassif Architects of Tel Aviv and URBANUS of Shenzhen, ONE developed a master plan to accommodate urban growth and create resilient public spaces while maintaining and restoring natural ecosystems. 

ONE conducted a primary risk analysis to identify potential hazards, including storm surge associated with tropical cyclones, sediment erosion, landslides, and flooding due to seasonal typhoons. Informed by traditional local aquaculture and agriculture, ONE designed an integrated system of absorptive green infrastructure and protective grey elements that would channel investments in natural features and generate returns for the local health and economy.

  • Project Period: October 2019 – December 2019
  • Competition result: 2nd Prize
  • Client (Competition): Planning and Natural Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Shenshan Special Cooperation Zone Management Commission of Shenzhen Municipality, China Academy of Urban Planning and Design
  • Collaborators: Mayslits Kassif Architects, URBANUS

ONE’s vision for the low-lying, flood prone Jiangdong New District was to create a new model for a “sponge city,” moving beyond typical measures for accommodation, and rather encouraging the city to live intertwined with its water systems. After studying the hydrological conditions and existing planning of Jiangdong, ONE proposed six street section typologies that weave stormwater-managing streams through the City’s street network, molding the new Haikou into a Resilient Water City.

In the proposal, ONE integrated the flows of water and people to create space for both, open up new opportunities for programming, and turn streetscapes into multi-purpose, multi-function infrastructural streamscapes of Haikou.

  • Client: Haikou Jiangdong New District Administration Bureau (Competition)
  • Performance period: November 2020 – December 2020

One Architecture has partnered with Columbia GSAPP Studio-X and the URBANUS curatorial team to create Data Mining the Urban Village, an installation at the 2017 Bi-City Biennale of UrbanismArchitecture (UABB). In response to the theme of UABB 2017, “Cities, Grow in Difference,” One Architecture and Columbia GSAPP’s Studio-X chose to examine the phenomenon of urban villages using data mining and machine learning techniques. Riding off recent advancements in big data and machine learning, the team behind Data Mining the Urban Village aimed to create a comprehensive database of nearly two decades of public thought on urban villages through the massive culling of accessible online media. They also created an algorithm using that data to produce its own original content.

Data Mining the Urban Village is a moonshot venture to collect all existing knowledge written on the concept of the urban village. Using advanced machine learning tools, the installation attempts to parse out large, opaque deposits of data, draw useful conclusions from them, and mobilize the findings to further research and public interest in the consequences of rapid urbanization. Looking at shifts in public and academic sentiment over time, Data Mining the Urban Village hopes to reveal large-scale trends in urban theory and understand how diverse groups propagate these ideas across a wide range of online media sources. Watch the installation video here.

ONE designed the urban plan and infrastructure for the Deventer Rivierenwijk. In 2008, housing corporation Rentree’s ambitious plans for the transformation of the Deventer Rivierenwijk, a so-called Vogelaarwijk, came to a slow stop. 300 houses were already demolished in the process, leaving a neighborhood torn to pieces. After this, One Architecture was asked to design an ‘essay’ on the future of the neighborhood. The essays main analysis focused on the arduous method of planning used in the past, in which every aspect and element was entangled with all other aspects and elements. ONE proposed an alternative way of planning and was commissioned to lead a new start.

ONE’s Urban Framework describes spatial starting points, conditions and directives. It indicates how the actors’ various spatial interventions, e.g. the reconstruction of the Amstellaan, 500 new houses, local facilities, neighborhood connections, and landscape structure, will combine into a coherent result. All obstacles obstructing the restart have been solved with the designs of the plan’s components. An important feature in the design and how the neighborhood will function in the future was integrating and widening the Amstellaan, a main traffic artery. For this, One Architecture created a new design. With the design within budget and having the full support of the area’s residents, the reconstruction of the neighborhood and its infrastructure was re-started in 2013.

Further optimizations of the plan’s components are the result of this integral planning process. Investments in the integration of the Amstellaan also helped with the construction of Children’s Center. Project Amstellaan has resulted in a “tree bank”, making full-grown trees available cheaply for new construction. The green buffer space enables flexibility and room for optimization of Rentree’s housing program. The various components can be elaborated within this Framework in a time and pace fit to the specific project. This also allows for the insertion of new insights in the project.

  • Project Period: 2011 — 2014 (constructed; urban redevelopment ongoing)
  • Client: Municipality of Deventer, the Netherlands
  • Collaborators: Royal HaskoningDHV

VROM (The ministry of spatial planning) has commissioned One Architecture, in combination with Zwarts & Jansma Architecten, to design the Olympic Main Infrastructure for the Netherlands for the Games in 2028. The OHS approaches the spatial assignment related to ambitions in the field of sports, economy, sustainability, welfare and society.

The core of the advice is that the Netherlands are basically too small to organize the Olympics. It is spatially small. It is organizationally fragmented. It is mentally small. How to plan big in a small country?

There are two ways to handle this. The first is to force the compelling scale of the Olympics, and the second is developing flexibility and cleverness based on this smallness. The tension between these two dimensions was detected continuously while working on the OHS. The question is whether the focus should be on the Olympic Games or on the Olympic Plan. Between a focus on the candidate cities Amsterdam and Rotterdam or on their environs. Between planning policy starting with the OHS or with the OHS following spatial policy. Between the IOC guidelines and pro-actively working to change these, in a form of ‘agency’. Between concentration and distribution of functions (it might be argued, following Frieling, that this tension is the basic tension in Dutch planning of the last 6 decades).

The Olympic Plan, so the analysis goes, is a good way to deal with this tension, but fails from a planning perspective. The time-dimension of planning is much larger than the time-dimension of building support. In planning, we don’t have time to lose. The result of One Architecture’s work is the invention of a mechanism to deal with this tension in the field of spatial development. A method of planning is being proposed in which, starting from a wide scope plans are increasingly focused: rather a road map than a design. This results in a way of planning in which public discussions, innovations, change and unforeseen developments can find their place, not by changing the plan but by defining moments of choice and decisions in order to focus the plan more and more. Those moments also create the politically very important ‘exit’.

  • Project Period: 2008 — 2009
  • Client: Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM) of the Netherlands
  • Collaborators: Zwarts & Jansma Architecten

For many years the area surrounding Leiden Central station has been below standard. It has been a cacophony of architectural ‘incidents’ in an area focused on infrastructure, lacking a proper connection to the city center and the university hospital. NS Poort has invested heavily in the station, as a prototype of its ‘World Station’ concept, making the surroundings look even bleaker. This fifth station in the country by number of passengers has the appearance of a highway location. One Architecture and NS Poort have developed a vision for the integral development of the area in order to persuade the city and other parties to start planning, together and integral.

The development vision comprises of a number of extraordinary elements: the large city blocks will be opened up for program and parking, a number of ‘stepping stones’ will reinforce the route to the city center (starting with a small cultural satellite at the station), and a structure with ‘urban entertainment’ and housing covering the bus station at the city side. At the sea side, a connection with the university hospital will be made with an integral solution for parking.

This vision has proven to be successful: All parties involved now work on this project, together and integral.

  • Client: NS Station

One Architecture and Urbanism helps the Chief of Resilience Officers (CROs) broaden their understanding of what design is and what design thinking can do. Goal is to create a new pedagogy around designing in resilience and effectively communicate these ideas with a broader audience that works in the resiliency field. The curriculum is build using visual and interactive tools, allowing both an overview of the role of design and a tailored focus on specific challenges per each city. The process involves an online visual presentation with ideas and example projects, a design workshop with three of the CROs and a report with feedback from the design consultants. Role of the design workshop is to introduce the CROs to design thinking, experiment by evaluating an on-going project in their city in terms of its resilience capacity, and charrette on alternative approaches that could have broaden the outcomes of the project.

One Architecture operates on a variety of scales, places and design fields. While working in these different realities and contexts, ONE recognizes the growing importance of digital technology and Smart Cities for today’s design questions. Often working as an integrator between different disciplines and agenda’s, One Architecture is more and more often using technology and technological tools. In the years ONE started to make technology and Smart City thinking part of both traditional projects and some special (research) projects. These projects evolve around four themes, each addressed with different, context-related, partners:

Smart Governance with The Mobile City. The rise of ‘big’ and ‘open’ data allows for new actors and new ways to get insight into urban infrastructures, salient urban issues as well as in opportunities for urban development. Next to that the rise of (social) media platforms provide citizens and institutions with new tools to organize publics around collective issues, mobilize people, and manage social infrastructural resources in collaborative ways. One Architecture works more and more as ‘arrangeur’ in citymaking processes.

Smart Fabrication with Waag Society and Filson and Rorhbacher. New relationships between designers and fabrication are made possible through digital fabrication. Digital technology and Building Information Modeling have changed the way our teams work and how our architecture is simulated. Using ‘direct prototyping’ and computer-aided manufacturing (CNC or robotics), One Architecture, with its partners, is constructing a number of projects.

In the Netherlands, ONE co-curates the Buiksloterham Living Lab, a 600 acre brownfield redevelopment in Amsterdam-Noord based on the principles of the circular economy — therein also acting as investors for a small housing area.ONE initiated both the research and the housing project and is a core member of the circular Buiksloterham team.

Currently, ONE’s New York office is expanding on its expertise by working on “Smart City” digital infrastructures and data-analysis.

The Hackable City is a research project that explores the potential for new modes of collaborative city-making, in a network society. The team’s primary case study is Buiksloterham, a brownfield regeneration project in Amsterdam North. Our approach is hands-on. We actively take part in activities in and around the neighborhood. Hackable citymaking revolves around the organization of individuals into collectives or publics, often through or with the aid of a digital media platform. Individuals contribute resources, such as knowledge, time, information or money, and at the same time reap some form of a benefit, be it social, economic or political, on an individual or communal level.

The first contours for this project were laid out by One Architecture and The Mobile City during the Metropool NL workshop organized by the Deltametropool Society in 2012, resulting in the publication Eindhoven, Hackable World City. This was followed by an ‘embedded researcher’ project executed by Cristina Ampatzidou, hosted at the University of Amsterdam and One Architecture and funded by the Creative Industries Research Centre Amsterdam, with contributions from Utrecht University.

In 2013 funding was received from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for a KIEM-exploration (lead by Michiel de Lange at Utrecht University). And in 2014 NWO funded this as a Creative Industries research project hosted at the University of Amsterdam, The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), and One Architecture. For the latter, new partners joined the research coalition: The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Pakhuis de Zwijger, and Stadslab Buiksloterham. Today, Hackable City has created an online open platform that acts a record of the team’s thoughts and ideas, available to be shared with the neighborhood.

Ruimtevolk, De Hackable Werekdstad, 2013

Eindhoven Hackable Metropolis, 2013

Kop van Isselt is a commercial area located in a belt of former industrial sites near the historical center of Amersfoort, a city in the Netherlands. A large part of this belt was in the process of transformation. The area was fragmented into old industrial sites, warehouses, and more recent large-scale retailers. Well situated and large in area, Kop van Isselt was recognized as a key district to facilitate Amersfoort’s growing housing needs. Landowners had shown interest in redeveloping their properties into more profitable housing developments, a process pending on the city’s investment in infrastructure, climate resilience, and the outplacement of a waste recycling center – all necessary to make the area fully suitable for housing. Additionally, the city of Amersfoort was in initial steps to relieve the market pressures on its small historical core by developing a separate urban milieu on Kop van Isselt’s remediated brownfields.

ONE has helped the city develop a strong spatial direction for the integration of new, high-quality public spaces throughout the industrial belt. Five different perspectives ONE has developed provided insight into the range of possibilities for Isselt. Additionally, ONE and financial consultants Stadkwadraat co-created a spatial-programmatic-financial framework for the redevelopment. In an iterative process, the team balanced the required investments in the area with a plausible and desirable housing program and the spatial capacities and opportunities in the area.

  • Project Period: 2009 — 2010; 2017 — 2018
  • Client: City of Amersfoort, the Netherlands
  • Collaborators: Stadkwadraat

In the current hospital financing system, a successful re-development of this former hospital area translates directly into the cost of treatment.

The loose architectural organization of the existing complex allows, when repeated, for a similar freedom in the architecture of the new buildings. In the Beeldkwaliteitplan, the relationship between such aspects as volume, massing, materiality, style and size is formulated in order to establish the limits of possible differentiation while allowing maximum freedom. In its studies ONE found out that the pre-war parts of the hospital complex, called the SMCD, organized around a courtyard with ‘arms’ stretching into the landscape, would be well-suited for new, economically strong, demographic groups, people fed up with the boredom of suburbia and with a desire to live in an urban yet green setting. The complex will be converted into a mix of apartments and townhouses, with services attached.

Repetition of the SMCD is subsequently used to create a concept that extends the identity and quality of the pre-war hospital buildings onto the whole 8 hectare site, while allowing development in distinct parts under a common urban-, marketing and management plan. With One Architecture as its prime-consultant and planner, leading the team of specialists, in lieu of a commercial project developer, development revenues were channeled from the developer back to the hospital by selling at a later stage than is usual.

For a consortium of ABN AMRO, Siemens and two developers, ONEe did the integral planning for the introduction of a MAGLEV system in the Netherlands. The basic premise was that the system characteristics of Transrapid make it the perfect infrastructure for the conurbation known as the ‘Randstad’. With HST speeds but the acceleration and deceleration of a metro, it could tie together the existing city centers and the new developments along the highways, circling the Randstad with 11 stops in less than an hour.

One (initially with O.M.A.) offered strategic advice, developed a spatial strategy and the calculation of real-estate potential on terminal locations and terminals. Subsequently, ONE designed the concept and produced the visuals for the communication strategy.

In 1998, Matthijs Bouw and Donald van Dansik visited Siemens to discuss their ‘Airport in the Sea study’ and the potential that separating Terminal and Tarmac by means of the Transrapid hold for the Randstad. Out of these discussions, the plan was made to use Transrapid as a metro system for the West of Holland. ‘Rondje Randstad’ will contract the Netherlands in time, making it a metropolis, while allowing for extensive green spaces.

Since then, the idea has taken hold. One Architecture has worked for a number of private and public clients on such diverse aspects as studies for new centers, real-estate potential, traffic chain management, terminal layout, marketing concepts and, in 2002, the supervision of the national design for the Delta Metropolis. In this Design Studio Deltametropolis ONE developed the format of a design studio, assigned various design teams their briefs, engaged the different stakeholders, organized the external expertise and reported on the findings.

Together with city architect Azedine Al-Hamouti, Ouafaa Boutenache and supported by the Dutch Architecture Fund, ONE’s project sets an example for sustainable development.

Nador, situated on the Mediterranean Sea in the North-east of Morocco, is a fast growing city (from 20.000 inhabitants in 1960 till 170.000 now). The mayor of the City of Nador asked ONE to take the initial step in the process that would lead to the next phase in the expansion of the city by designing a new landmark and public area along the coastline ‘Le Corniche’. For the Corniche in Nador it is important to set an example, to make it beautiful with minimum front-end investment by the City, while allowing future development and economic activities and directing profits back into its economy.

In order to regulate the future growth of the program, a permit system is designed and put (literally) into place, by surfacing the Corniche with an elaborate triangular pattern in bi-coloured concrete: the permit system defines the placement and sequencing of the different programmes, so that there is an optimal situation at any stage of development. The surface finishing will include drawn lines and icons indicating future development and different programmatic zones, and based on this system permits can be bought to establish stalls, shops, etc.

The Nador urbanism is ‘mission-oriented’ and focuses on the ‘software’, which allows for flexibility and adaptability to new developments.

Together with city architect Azedine Al-Hamouti, Ouafaa Boutenache and supported by the Dutch Architecture Fund, ONE’s project sets an example for sustainable development.

Nador, situated on the Mediterranean Sea in the North-east of Morocco, is a fast growing city (from 20.000 inhabitants in 1960 till 170.000 now). The mayor of the City of Nador asked ONE to take the initial step in the process that would lead to the next phase in the expansion of the city by designing a new landmark and public area along the coastline ‘Le Corniche’.

The beauty is that traffic circles can easily be adapted to function as a local network, simply by adjusting traffic directions.

The circular traffic structure, with its possibility one- and two-directional traffic, uses a little less road surface than the municipality’s proposal. While the circular traffic structure might be a little cheaper, it looks much more expensive and as such generates a feeling of luxury in the area, both for the single-family housing and for the social housing.

In this 1998 study, ONE proposed a counter-strategy to the inner-city-suburbanization that endangered Eindhoven (as a result of Philips’ move to the High Tech campus) at the time.

Strijp-S would become, on short notice, completely ‘empty’ and would, because it is too big to develop quickly, draw functions that would be better located in other parts of the city (near the station, in the center or on the edge). Strijp-S would negatively influence the development of other sites. That is why ONE have formulated a strategy for Strijp-S that can be characterized as ‘autistic’. The vision starts with creating a non-place in Eindhoven, an area that does not function and that does not have any relation with the surrounding city. This non-place can serve as an incubator for new, unforeseen or temporary developments (what has later been dubbed ‘the creative economy’). ONE called it an ‘experimental dystopia’.

It is the urbanism of ultimate generosity: it does not demand anything from the city, but could in the long term, in a completely unpredictable way, contribute much to Eindhoven as a whole.

The prize winning competition entry, with Noël van Dooren, for ‘Living along the Dikes’ drastically reorganizes the Dutch river landscape.

The heavily Ruhr-polluted topsoil needs to be removed from the floodplains in order to increase flow-capacity. When moved outside the area, the law says it needs to be cleaned at high cost. This project proposes to deposit the polluted soil on site, on the higher sandy grounds within the floodplains.

Competition, Bouwen aan de Dijk, (with Noël van Dooren), second prize

Six under a Tennis Court investigates the possibilities of an urban planning that is not suppressed by geometry.

The houses have a tennis court on their roof. This colossal order, as it is called in classical architecture, of tennis courts makes it possible to place each dwelling individually, with every architecture possible. It makes this area of Leidsche Rijn simultaneously into a park, thereby redirecting notions of the public and the private.