HOUSING DE ZILVERVLOOT
A.U.A.I., 1999-2005, Admiraalsplein e.o., Dordrecht
The Belgian architect Lucien Kroll is a pioneer in informal 'spontaneous' architecture and community participation. This complex of apartments and shops at first sight seems a chaotic assemblage of unrelated blocks. Closer inspection however proves it to be an intelligent answer to the welter of demands and wishes of tenants and shop owners. Basically, De Zilvervloot consists of a single large block wrapped round an elevated courtyard garden and public plaza, with a parking facility underneath it all. The ground floor is largely given over to shop space. Almost the entire complex can be reached from the communal garden on the first floor by way of galleries, corridors, stairs and lifts. Floor plans, outdoor areas, facades and materials are all informed by a restricted number of ingredients but combined in such a way as to generate maximum variation.