Even before the establishment of our office, we became involved in the issue of the use of underground space. During our joint graduation we have, driven from an urban research, created a design for an underground theatre underneath the station of Haarlem. We were free to set up our graduation plan in terms of program and trough various variants and options, we became interested in staying underground.
When one wants a large program like a theatre, and the desire is to place it in the centre instead of on the outskirts of the city, why not build it underground? What are the drawbacks? First, we have looked in a comprehensive study at many practical aspects that draw questions ranging from constructive possibilities, the additional costs and the fire requirements for facilities, the materialisation and construction methods. Of course it is more expensive, but when the situation and the demand both have building underground as a ideal solution, this can be outweighed by the profits that the plan provides, in this case, to the city and will it appear to be at least possible. In the document ‘Ruimtelijke Verkenning 2000', the investigation commission already mentioned the Dutch undergrounds a ‘promised land and a last frontier’(VROM,2000).
From here , the question remained: Where does one want to go underground? We have researched and still research, if it is possible to create an underground stay from the various themes that we encountered(e.g. type of spaces, ‘wayfinding, cognitive dissonance, expectation, basic attitude, instinct) that is pleasant and interesting for the user.
We see the use of underground space (since) as part of the Construction and architectural world, with an lot of potential in it and as a subject, which we want to explore in greater depth. In 2012, we have made a design, commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam, for an underground bicycle parking with square for the Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen in Amsterdam. Currently we are working on a smaller scale, on an underground extension to a home. We were also involved several times at symposia as an expert on this subject. From the Centre for Building Underground to KIVI to Indesem.
Our starting point is that the use underground space offers many opportunities, but only if the choice to build underground has an absolute value compared to the cheaper, more common and easier building above ground. If you would like to know more about our research on this subject, please feel free to contact us.
If you would like to know more about our research on this subject, please feel free to contact us.
click to see our other research themes