Utrecht Overvecht

Overvecht is one of the larger districts from the city of Utrecht. The district, which for a large part is made up of long rows of five stories high apartment blocks and grids of ten stories high tower blocks, grey and monotonous, is home to some 35 thousand people. As part of an ambitious urban renewal project, a first milestone was completed. Opposite of Overvecht shopping mall four new apartment buildings were realised. One of them is called ‘The Cube’, by Team V Architecture, the other three, Bario, Birim and Blend, have the overarching name ‘deBuurt’ (theNeighborhood), by Paul de Ruiter Architects, NL Architects and Flux Landscape Architecture. These structures set themselves apart from the existing housing stock through more openness at street level by the incorporation of ground floor apartments and publicly accessible spaces, with in the future; a dentist centre, sports centre, pub and a massive hall, with sliding glass doors that reach to the ceiling, where public events can take place and people can meet each other. Another important aspect is the use of bricks, in some cases in patterns, that create a welcoming contrast to the large amounts of concrete found throughout Overvecht.

Commissioned by de Volkskrant and published alongside an article by Bob Witman.