Big Complexes in Small Villages, Sept. 2017 - Feb. 2018, Tutor: Marcel Musch
Location: Bonskazerne, Grave, Noord-Brabant
The aim of these proposals is to join together the three fragments of the former de Bonskazerne (former barracks, refugee housing and business park) into a coherent site, and to provide the social infrastructure for a thriving community to develop. These proposals have three parts: firstly, a new central square unites the three parts of the site to create a new urban centre in the region. Secondly, the main building on the barracks site is converted to create a community centre serving the wider area, with a wide variety of flexible spaces. Lastly, the 1960s canteen in the main barracks building is re-constructed into a new informal social space known as ‘the longhouse’, which is a place for the site’s new residents to come together.
By opening up the main barracks building the interior spaces can be better connected to the surrounding spaces and to each other. Users flow up and over the building’s level changes, creating a variety of different spaces. The various parts of the square would each gain a different character, bringing the site to life.
The new central square would bring together the business park, refugee centre and former barracks site, allowing each to benefit from the others. It would be largely flexible, available for use as a market square, car park, recreational area or event space as required. It would be formed of a uniform paved surface intersecting the three areas, accessed directly from the main entrance.
The wall and roof panels of the existing 1960s canteen are dismantled and reassembled on a steel frame to form ‘the longhouse’. Referencing the site’s colonial history, the form evokes longhouses on Borneo, and is a free-flowing, flexible community space.