Details

Keywords Change this

Community Centre

Project timeline

1970 – 1973

Type

Mixed Use

Location Change this

Eindhoven
Netherlands

Architect Change this

‘t Karregat Eindhoven Change this

Eindhoven, Netherlands
by Frank van Klingeren Change this
1 of 3

Description Change this

Van Klingerens attention, however, had already shifted towards Eindhoven. There he was given the opportunity to build yet another multifunctional community building for a new experimental housing project. This time it would include – besides the cultural and sports facilities – a small shopping mall (bakery, greengrocer, a small supermarket) and a health facility with general practice (the café serving as a waiting room) and a pharmacy. But the real experiment was the inclusion of two elementary schools and a nursery school. These too would be built without any internal walls to speak of, one organic whole with the rest of the spaces and facilities, a field of communal activity. Children, according to Van Klingeren, would learn their arithmetic next to the supermarket cash desk, mothers could meet each other at the café bar after bringing their kids to school (which they did willingly). The one storey building (or rather; the enclosed and climate controlled landscape) is situated underneath a flat roof with an open steel structure, that is supported by steel ‘umbrellas’; pyramid shaped skylights on open steel columns. All services (air-conditioning, electricity, rainwater drainage and ventilation) are positioned in sight within the steel roof structure, and can be accessed (and changed when the floor configuration is changed) from below. The perimeter façade is built-up out of off-the-rack components (mainly from the glass-house industry). In general, there is a certain ‘high-tech’ feel to the architecture, albeit with the informal sloppiness of a self-built community house. Named ‘t Karregat (cart-sink after the shopping carts that would gather there) it was opened in 1973 without hardly any change in the original concept. After a couple of years, the ‘schools without walls’ proved to be too much for the teachers, that went into the experiment without any primary experience whatsoever in new schooling methods. Glass partitions were applied, but besides that the openness was maintained and ‘t Karregat became an overnight success, also because the community ran the cultural facilities for themselves.

Sources

  • Piet Vollaard

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