Many aspects come together on the drawing board. It is therefore a challenge for Marlies Zwols and her colleagues at OZ to make a design that not only meets the requirements, but also takes into account the identity of the location and the habits of the end user. For which target group do you design and what do you stand for in that design? A decisive question that is not always in line with other interests.
Marlies Zwols is business director at OZ architects. OZ’s strength lies in its close team, the short lines of communication and close cooperation with clients and municipalities. Marlies: ‘We know how project developers and investors think and it’s in our DNA to switch quickly.
This enables us to design and build affordable homes with the necessary creativity and knowledge of technology.’
Balance between quality and affordability
Nevertheless, finding the right balance between quality and affordability, as well as taking into account aspects such as the ever-increasing forces of climate change, remains an enormous challenge for every project. Marlies: ‘It is such a puzzle to make a project feasible that we almost forget for whom we are building the houses and what our ultimate goal is: contributing to the development of a healthy living environment.
To achieve this, we must represent the voice of the future resident and invest in quality of life, including sport, greenery, social property and care.’
Creativity, liveability and sustainability
A project in which creativity has been successfully applied to improve the liveability of the surroundings and to contribute to the acute housing shortage is Ravel Residence on the Zuidas in Amsterdam (over 800 student dwellings). For this modular and temporary project, OZ designed a plastic panel with a round window. The panel could be quickly developed and duplicated in the factory and can be reused in the future. By repeating the panels in the design, they not only provided a solution for noise pollution from the railway and the A10, but the building also looks great. Despite its volume, the building has been given a playful and fashionable appearance that suits the young residents.
A successful project thanks to the cooperation of OZ with other HPP members Student Experience and Jan Snel. Marlies: ‘If you know how to find each other, you are already so much richer.’
At the beginning of the year 2021, we invited a few of our decision-makers in the clock tower of Capital C Amsterdam to share their wishes and predictions for the year 2021. Every month we highlight one of them. Last month in the clock tower we heard more about the story of Sander Dekker (Cordeel). Watch the full video below.