The design was based on a serpent-like building mass that reacts to a relatively complex urban context. The snake’s head, distinctively situated on the corner of Huizingalaan and Gerretsonlaan, towers high above the area, making a determined gesture towards the centre of Eindhoven. This forms a link to the large-scale building on Huizingalaan, a busy road in the north of Eindhoven.
The building can be split into 4 parts: the underground parking garage (100 places), the plinth in which 2,500 m2 commercial activities are to be found, 50 flats intended for use by the elderly in the 4 floors above and finally the tower of 15 floors in which a variety of apartments (60 in total) can be found. The serpent has in this way found its resting place supporting and strengthening the original function of the square in the neighbourhood as a new and lively area.
The fundamental concept of the building is a plinth alternatively filled with transparent facades, at the point of the commercial room and the entrances of the homes, and a grid facade located by the closed parts. Above is a persistent line of light, behind glass, that accentuates the “serpent” laying above the construction. The serpent itself is found leaning on its stomach of dark-grey masonry, the solid base of the building.
The rest of the facade, the snake’s skin, is formed by protruding concrete porches on each floor, which also can be used as balcony to facilitate window cleaning. These horizontal lines again emulate serpent-like movements. Between these concrete porches only windows are placed mostly filled with glass and dark-grey, light-grey or yellow panels. Altogether this forms an energetic and multi-colour frontage that from a distance makes one think of snakeskin.
Stichting Woonbedrijf SWS.Hhvl