Borneo and Sporenburg.

An urban design by West 8, Adriaan Geuze's office.

The affinity with water, harbour and maritime architecture resulted in a unique plan. For low-rises, Geuze took his inspiration from the villages on the former Zuidzee, where small, intimate houses tumble toward the water. His low-rise structures are arranged in a strict banded parcelation, subdivide into what could be called strips. By alternating built and unbuilt strips, a rythmic interplay of open and closed space arises - a rythm which, according to Geuze, can also be recognized on a larger scale in the confrontation between the densely built-up neighbourhood and open water.

In the plan the grid of low-rise buildongs is broken in three places by a large structure: a meteorite. These meteorites are references to the "gruff maritime architecture of yore", and according to the designer are a means of connecting Borneo/Sporenburg spatially with the large buildings in the rest of harbour are, particularly the KNSM Island.

"The proposed assignment coupled two apparently opposing caricatures. On the one side, in large scale harbour area an equivalent of Dutch 'water city' must be realized; on the other there was a programme of 2500 dwellings, to be carried out in a low-rise format, which ment a density of 100 dwellings per hectare on this location. By taking these points of departure seriously, a fascinating and unique possibility for an urban design experiment was born."

/Brigitte de Mar: Een zee van huizen, A sea of houses, THOTH 1999/



One of the meteorites placed in a low-rise structure, a jewel of Sporenburg. Fountaihead is a luxurious 19 storeyed flat building with a restaurant, fitness studio, swimming pool, shop and cafeteria in the first floors. It has a double glas skin which alows the structure of the construction to remain visible. The size of the appartments varies from 140 square meters to over 450 square meters. Some of them are double storeyed. Each appartment can have a teracce. The floorplans are completely open. Floors are 50 centimiters thick, so all the wireing can be placed in the floor. That offers a wide range of possibilities with designing appartments, because the positions of facilities such as toiltes an kitchens are not fixed.