De Kuil Rotterdam
'De Kuil' will be a green area fitting within the urban fabric of the Afrikaanderwijk and is an extension of the street pattern in this quarter. De Kuil (the pit) derives its name from the function this climate adaptive courtyard has, the pit collects rainwater, re-uses it, and stores it within multiple levels of the plan. Both the building blocks and the courtyard are making optimal use of the existing height differences in the surrounding area and and form a stepped volume that opens to the lower situated courtyard. We see the height difference as an opportunity to design a distinctive plan in which the water- and parking assignment are cleverly implemented. By designing the plan as a valley, we create different living conditions and make contact between ground level and the roof landscape. De Kuil is a nature inclusive plan in which the buildings and landscape are forming one ecosystem that fortify each other.
The layout of the courtyard utilizes a maximum green outlook and is a place to live, to look at, and stay in. It is designed in such a way that it becomes a logical part of the daily routes of the residents of De Kuil and the neighborhood. A fine path structure runs through the courtyard that seems to float over the landscape. Adjacent to the dike park and together with the courtyard there is space for movement at everyone's feet; a physical invitation to go outside. Centrally located in the courtyard, there are two squares, the nevelplein and the buurtplein. On the buurtplein are large picnic benches where residents can eat together. In addition, the square can be used for activities such as a neighborhood party. Small mist sprayers will be placed on the nevelplein, which serve as a cooling (play) element in warm periods. The climate-proof design of the outdoor space makes an important contribution to the quality of stay. De Kuil consists of a green-blue landscape where water, cooling and biodiversity go hand in hand. Our ambition is to create a healthy area, and that means creating cool meeting places for the elderly and cool play areas for children, mainly through planting trees and using cool materials.