It’s time for the Projuct Developer
Public grounds, private skies
In the middle of the Dutch housing and economic crisis, architects were staring at each other. The Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands was talking about a ‘lost generation’ of young graduates coming from our architecture school. What to do? Or better to wait? In an attempt to give positive attention to the challenges of the upcoming and next generation of architects, the Platform GRAS from Groningen, the Netherlands, opened the competition with the central question:
How entrepreneurial is the architect in times of crisis and changing assignments?
Our team proposes a change of attitude. A combination of the traits of the architect, the project developer and product designer. Apart from eachother they run the risk of becoming: 1) complacent, 2) market conform, 3) small scale… But together these three make the ‘projuct developer’! He or she will: 1) conduct unsolicited market research, 2) optimize supply-demand & feasibility, 3) embed spatial quality.
For Platform GRAS we demonstrated the concept with two actual challenges: running and maintaining school property, and affordable and suitable housing for senior citizens. Our premise is that school buildings need to be ‘grounded’ with little children running in and out all the time. Senior citizens find it harder to maintain large gardens, but find it more important to be in contact with other people. Especially getting in contact with people outside their own age group is a challenge.
Sitting affordable housing for senior citizens on top of schools, will generate revenue for the school. Seniors will be in vicinity with young children, preferably even their ownn grand children. In this way youngsters are able to visit them after school, without assistance. And the parents (or the in-between generation) can have regular contact with grand parents and children at the same time, thus the formula / product of the ‘Cloud Castle’.
With a systematic approach that takes the Cloud Castle concept and goes step by step to translating it into a fully elaborated product. Most (80-90%) ingredients that are needed can be prefabricated, with the essential final 10-20% custom made for an optimal fit.
The systematic approach allows the architect to efficiently make a series of custom made proposals, that offer a specific product like the ‘Cloud Castle’.
Jolande de Schiffart