Casanova+Hernandez architects | A028_Apartment Block


A028_Apartment Block

Groningen, Netherlands

This apartment block is part of a large urban development that consists of two main elements:

1 A solid plinth of commercial and business units that unifies the whole urban intervention and dialogues with the existing urban scheme made by Berlage dating from the 1920s.

2 A “crystal” made up of dwellings, designed as a light and transparent volume eight stories high, sits like a precious jewel on a solid base, thus emphasizing the contrast between heavy and light, opaque and transparent, rough and smooth.

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The crystalline block has two basic functions:


Viewed from the public space, the block acts as a landmark and reference point in the environment, especially when viewed from the park.


From inside the houses, the block works as a ‘viewpoint’ from where users will enjoy, due to the transparency of its skin and the height of the volume, the spectacular panoramic views over the canals and the surrounding park.

Medium scale: configuration of the block

The combination or stacking of three types of spatial containers defines the block.

A Three-Storey Container:

The triplex apartments provide the possibility of creating two- or three-storey spaces that enhance the view. They also provide the possibility of a garden and two different entrances, one for private use and one for public access to the living-working units on different levels.

B Two-Storey Container:

The duplex apartments offer the possibility of using domestic spaces as workspaces in combination with patios and terraces.

C One-Storey Container:

They are apartments that enjoy a 180-degree panoramic view and have glazed balconies that communicate directly with the living room.

The strategy of stacking container units provides a flexible solution to different market demands and creates very different typologies within the block.

The interior core of the building is linked to gardens on different levels that can be seen on the façades. The gardens bring natural light and ventilation to the core.

The external appearance of the building reflects the typological variety of the interior.

Small scale: typological variety

Each ‘container’ unit type can enjoy a huge range of different inner layouts and spatial organizations. By combining different smaller units, a catalogue will be provided to the future uses for them to choose which elements will answer to their particular way of living.

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Nijestee Vastgoed
5.895 m²
€ 800 / m²