Vision of architects
Three architectural firms have been involved in the design of Bloom: ANA architecten, Rijnboutt and Inbo. We spoke with Jannie Vinke of ANA architecten and Richard Koek of Rijnboutt.
Richard and Jannie: ‘Bloom will be a healthy, sustainable and mixed city district providing an enormous quality of life. What makes a city interesting is diversity. The fact that it offers something for everyone – young and old, wealthy and less wealthy. And that it's bustling and lively. That's what we are aiming for with Merwede. We have focussed on a number of themes: individual expression of the buildings, facilitating spontaneous encounters, sustainable mobility and, of course, greenery and nature. Merwede is designed as a car-free neighbourhood (i.e., no streets cluttered with cars), with as many green spaces as possible, where the use of bicycles, public transport and walking is encouraged. In short, it's a wonderful, tranquil place where children can play safely and residents enjoy the outdoors. Future residents will experience the joys of living on the canal with the Merwedepark on their doorstep. The homes have been designed with great care to offer views of the green surroundings. The large bay windows, loggias, balconies and terraces strengthen the relationship with the outdoor spaces.
Much attention has been paid to nature inclusiveness. Green is a recurring theme that runs through all the buildings – via the gardens, façades and balconies to the roof gardens. Here you get to experience the seasons, the colours, the smells of plants, and feel the coolness of the trees. The courtyards have sufficient space and deep soil, so that we can plant large trees. The wide variety plants, flowers and shrubs with nectar and pollen make it an attractive landing place for insects and other animals. The design also provides opportunities to encourage wildlife by incorporating insect hotels and nest boxes for birds and bats.
It's all about expression, meeting and interacting with one another, mobility and nature
Each courtyard has been given a unique atmosphere and identity, from intimate and relaxed to a playground. They are designed to make it easy for children to play and residents to interact with neighbours in a casual way. The play areas are not overly designed, but include simple things such as tree trunks, big stepping stones, seating areas and benches to encourage spontaneous play. We also facilitate the idea of congregating spontaneously in the common areas, for example in Bloom where residents can take part in joint activities, the roof gardens, the commercial spaces on the ground floor with restaurants and shops, and in the large bicycle storage areas which double as meeting places. All these spaces have been thoughtfully designed and are light, spacious and colourful. We included, for example, a covered playground for when it's raining, a storage area for garden tools and a maintenance point for bicycles. The shared bicycles and cars, as well as the parcel pickup points, will also encourage spontaneous encounters between residents.
Residential expression and diversity of living typologies are important themes for us. The buildings have their own identity, typology, materials and colours, from colourful small buildings to large buildings with a lighter colour scheme. For various buildings, we use sustainable façade materials that you wouldn't necessarily expect in a city, like second-hand steel, wood, recycled glass and used bricks. We also make use of dry stacking methods, so that the bricks can easily be reused. A great deal of care has gone into the design of the outdoor spaces (bay windows, loggias, terraces and balconies), the entrances and the lobbies. Different floor plans have been created for different target groups. No matter what phase of life you are in, whether you're young, a family with children or an empty-nester, you’ll soon feel at home here.’