Irma van Oort on high-rise. How to create collectivity?

Irma van Oort, partner and architect at KCAP, explains in a conversation with Vastgoedjournaal the challenges of high-rise. She knows very well that a project is only successful if people can take possession of it. So that is all about creating collectivity and a sense of belonging while paying attention to the context. ‘In essence, building is about creating living conditions for people,’ she says. High-rise is becoming more and more attractive to accommodate the rising demand for additional homes in The Netherlands. As a typology, it faces particular challenges. Mixed programming of the plinth zones, good connection to public spaces, and integrating green on the street and building level are critical aspects of building high. It has to be combined with creating common areas and facilities, places where residents can meet and do things together. Several projects of KCAP serve as examples, one of them HS Kwartier The Hague, where the office is involved as urban designer and architect, including the transformation of the Stationspostgebouw into PostNL Headquarter.

Furthermore, the transformation of the area around station Hollands Spoor, that KCAP is working on in cooperation with developers SENS and LIFE grants another crucial aspect for urban densification through high-rise: good accessibility and proximity to public transport hubs. As Irma van Oort says: "A building design never stands alone but reflects its surroundings. For us, this integral approach to building and its environment is an important part of the transition to a sustainable, future-proof city."

Please find here the full interview in Dutch.


Photography: Carence Korzelius