Dordrecht - de Compagnie - transformation
60's flat + "wijkcentrum"
The Compagnie + Neighbourhood
Commissioned by Woonbron and
realised together with Kristal project development
The metamorphosis of an existing
gallery-flat, combined with new constructions and
containing social services and housing, can complement
the current, one-sided discussion on the renewal
of the post-war city.
This project is a part of
the revitalising of the Admiraals-square in Wielwijk,
in which the building complex ‘the Zilvervloot’
is the first one completed in 2005. After the renovation
of ‘the Stuyvesantflat’ in 2006 and
the new ‘Gouverneur’ in 2007, careful
and continuous changes are made to the square and
in particular to the Ruyterflat, a typical post-war
‘gallery-flat’. A total demolition followed
by new construction has never been an option. Re-integrating
the two Koophoek-flats was part of the competition-scheme,
won in 1999. Due to a financial deficit in the overall
budget of the architectural components and new public
space in the whole Admiraals-square, it was decided
to demolish one of the two flats in order to replace
it with housing services for elderly people.
The Compagnie involves making
complete facelifts geared to creating exceptional
Alterations to this building
give it and its immediate environment a new appearance.
In order to attract new target groups such as ‘starters’,
small families, people moving up the housing ladder
and elderly people, new housing types were created
within the existing concrete structure with a standard
width of 4,1m. The existing residential qualities
in this flat were raised to higher, more luxurious
To achieve this, the following
methods were used:
-Floor areas have been increased
-A large number of interior
walls were demolished and openings were created
in the existing load baring concrete walls
-Existing balconies or/and
galleries have been integrated in the floor area’s
-New balconies have been created
-Duplex apartments (maisonnettes)
have been developed
-New penthouse apartments
were added on the roof
-Some parts on the south side
of the building have been demolished in order to
create terraces and terrace-apartments
-The galleries have been interrupted
by integrating new staircases
-New housing types were added
to an existing staircase
-Communal spaces, entrance
halls and landings were integrated
The dimensions and location
of the openings in both the load baring concrete
walls and the floor slabs needed a lot of structural
investigation because of their thin dimension of
180mm. Structural steel is sometimes reinforcing
the concrete elements. Specific insulation measures,
acoustical and thermal, were studied because of
the low floor to floor height of 2800mm and the
narrow grid width.
The surface area of the 60
apartments varies from 86 to 173m². A balcony,
a (roof)terrace or a loggia offers great views.
Diverse variations in internal lay-outs can be chosen.
Higher standards inside are
complemented with a new architectural image on the
outside. The banality of the existing situation
is transformed into an exceptional and sturdy showpiece.
The material choice, colour patchwork and architectural
tools are deployed with reminiscence to the Zilvervloot.
The cost of demolishing this
flat and building a new one following the same architectural
schemes would be a little higher. Preserving what
exists is however more intelligently in an urban
context. This strategy makes it possible to restructure
at different scales, such as the urban scale and
the scale of the building ensemble. Moreover, respecting
local and social history, weaving the old into the
new and renewing because of economical and sustainable
reasons are just a couple of the important themes
in urban regenerating projects.
The uniqueness in this project
strengthens the involvement of residents in their
immediate surroundings in order to experience the
residential building as a collective object. The
Zilvervloot is actually perceived in exactly the
same manner. Both projects ameliorate the imago
of Wielwijk and attract new target groups.
The Compagnie fits in a wider
composition. The flat is just a piece of a ‘classic’
urban block on the south side of the Admiraals-square.
Two tentacles ensure the further development of
the urban block on the right alignments. These alignments
are based on a neighbouring flat of the ’70ties
and designed in order to diminish the dimensions
of the square. The Zilvervloot was located according
to the same principles.
The neighbourhood centre is
the core of the northern tentacle. On the first
floor it includes a sports hall for the projected
primary schools. The entrance of this centre is
a largely glazed in an angular shape accentuating
the importance of the social function and introducing
the narrowest street in Wielwijk. Particular attention
is paid to every corner in both the Zilvervloot
as well as in the Compagnie.
southern tentacle is build as an extension of a
medical centre situated on the ground floor of the
flat. Two floors are developed here underwriting
the balance in the city mosaic.