Belverede Residential Tower, Hilversum

Apartments, Hilversum NL, Project Team: René van Zuuk, Kersten Scheller, Peter Hagelaar, Wulf Oschwald, Eva Hexspoor, Kristel Hermans, Marcus Kistner, Ferdy Holtkamp

Client: NOVAFORM, Investor: Altera, design: 2004-2011, Build area: 440 m², Floor area: 6.500 m2

The residential project is located in Hilversum, in an area built just after the war, consisting mainly of semi-detached, four-storey high buildings. In the 80's, six residential towers were built on the south side of the city. This residential project is located in the plot extension of the existing towers and is the final of the series.

In the tower design process, we started with an analysis of the urban landscape. The tower sequence ends exactly in a bend of the bypass, the Oosterengweg, one of the main roads of Hilversum. Since the tower is at the head of the chain and is visible on all sides, we opted to make a building with a clear symmetry. In addition, the municipality desired the creation of a sculptural form that would end the existing series with a stand-out design.

The plot has a triangular shape, which is limited by a number of key constraints. The requirements are related to the minimum distance from the property boundaries, as well as a complex network of utility pipes running beneath the site. The building's footprint was therefore limited to no larger than 450m² (15% of the plot). These limitations, coupled with the stipulation of a maximum building height of no more than 11 storeys, meant that a traditional tower block design would result in a volume comprising of no more than 44 residential units. However, due to the high price of land, the apartment complex was only financially viable if comprised of at least 55 apartments. Our resulting design approach proposed a tower where the floor area increased as the building rose vertically, with the upper floors cantilevering from the central core. thus, maximizing the usable space on the constrained site.

Structurally, the cantilever is made possible by applying the same amount of material on both sides of the core. With this symmetrical design, the floor plan of the tower has a cross shape.

The apartments (55 units) are diagonally positioned so that each one has two orientations. This creates a high degree of flexibility in the layout of the floor plan and ensures that each resident has a balcony that can be reached by the sun.