Blossem, Breda

Located on the edge of the Tuinzigt neighbourhood in Breda is the site of the former ‘Nibb-it’ factory, well known for its snacks. About 5.2 hectares in size, the site has remained vacant since 2007, and in 2018 the Nederlandse Bouw Unie and Maas-Jacobs decided to create a prize-winning green neighbourhood here, called BLOSSEM. This new green city neighbourhood has been designed for a mixture of target groups in both the rental and owner-occupied sectors. Building 3.3 is located in the middle of the plan area and contains 154 apartments grouped around a central green patio.

The urban plan drawn up by Studioninedots and Karres en Brands was designed on the basis of ten principles that highlight the themes of health, nature-inclusive design and traffic-free space. The publicly accessible central park, featuring bioswales and wild nature, flows between the buildings so that everybody lives beside the park. The urban layout consists of a variety of volumes of different sizes set in greenery that is made up of a sequence of public spaces: the landscape park, the urban passage and semi-public patios in the various building blocks. The rotated urban structure follows the original layout of the former Nibb-it complex.

The urban layout consists of a variety of volumes of different sizes set in greenery that is made up of a sequence of public spaces: the landscape park, the urban passage and semi-public patios in the various building blocks

The positioning of Building 3.3 aligns seamlessly with the distinctive orthogonal position of the former Nibb-it factory. The bulky building stands in the middle of the park, where the public network of footpaths and cycle paths around and through the building creates the best possible connections with the surroundings. The plinth, with ground-access apartments, bike sheds, entrances and the internal street along the patio, enhances the social and spatial unity of the area.

Building 3.3, with 154 apartments, is the biggest development in the area and has an industrial appearance with a green and warm collective heart. The architecture is inspired by the rational DNA of the former factory grounds. The building is supported by a plinth made of sturdy materials with a horizontal and lightly accentuated upper volume wrapped by continuous balconies. The contrasting patio is finished in warm materials and lush vegetation, with a nod to the social origins of Nibb-it products.

The building stands on a robust materialized plinth with a horizontal and slightly accented superstructure with continuous balconies all around

Blossem 3.3 is a bulky main building with a solid plinth and a lighter upper volume. The double-height openings with recessed facade and blank corners create a sturdy plinth. The stacking of horizontal bands of anodized aluminium lends the upper volume a light character.

The plinth is finished in cemented brickwork for a solid and tactile appearance. The horizontal bands are made of folded anodized aluminium cassettes, and the recessed facade is faced in fibre-cement panels with vertical grooves.

The patio forms the heart of the building. With its green character it offers space for people to meet one another, enjoy a drink with fellow residents or to read the newspaper while having a cup of coffee or tea. It is a place that creates social cohesion and liveliness in the building. The wide gallery, with the big sliding glass door to the bright living room and kitchen, ensures a seamless transition between inside and outside and offers residents additional living space. The use of wood in combination with darker frames and the rich vegetation in the patio gives this outdoor space a warm and cosy feel. The steel balustrades with spot-welded mesh on the concrete gallery also emphasize the industrial character.

The rational building with a grid structure blends harmoniously with the urban typology and industrial character of the site. The rational layout of the building contrasts with the landscape and the informal social connections in and around the building. The informal public and landscaped route extends from the expressively designed entrances through the building and connects it and the patio with its surroundings. The building shares with Building 3.2 an underground car park, which has its entrance in Building 3.3. The shared bike shed is visible and transparently positioned at the tip of the building as part of the main entrance. The duplex dwellings and ground-access apartments connect via their private terraces with the public landscape. All apartments on the upper levels contain spacious balconies with wide views of the park.

 

All apartments on the upper levels contain spacious balconies with wide views of the park.

Building 3.3 offers various housing typologies: ground-access duplex dwellings and apartments, spacious corner apartments, and large and small open-plan apartments with a recessed and a protruding balcony. They enable a varied target group to enjoy this attractive residential environment. All dwellings are accessed from the shared patio and are oriented to the park.

The green patio in the heart of the building contributes to the residential community in Blossem 3.3 and creates social cohesion and liveliness within the building. Residents encounter one another all year round in the shared outdoor spaces that feature a large number of mature trees. The park also provides cooling on hot summer days. Vegetation can grow up the steel mesh on all seven levels. The collective geothermal energy system and rooftop solar panels ensure a sustainable energy concept.

The park also provides cooling on hot summer days. Vegetation can grow up the steel mesh on all seven levels. The collective geothermal energy system and rooftop solar panels ensure a sustainable energy concept.
Project Details
  • Site
  • Breda, The Netherlands
  • Client
  • NBU | Maas-Jacobs
  • Design
  • 2021 >
  • Size
  • 13.500 m2
  • Program
  • Residential
  • Assignment
  • Direct commission
  • Team
  • Patrick Meijers, Jeroen Schipper, Marlene Hamacher, Florentine van der Vaart, Jokubas Platukis, Anna Kolasa, Athanasia Kalaitzidou, Paulina Kurowska, Elchan Koelijev, Rik Meijer, Frank Schulze, Eleni Papanikolaou, Dirk Jansen
  • Urban Planner
  • studio 9dots + Karres en Brands
  • Visuals
  • Orange Architects