maarten baas challenges two teams to re-imagine 'ugly' plaza
maarten baas challenges two teams to re-imagine 'ugly' plaza
oct 13, 2015

maarten baas challenges two teams to re-imagine 'ugly' plaza

maarten baas challenges two teams to re-imagine ‘ugly’ plaza in eindhoven
team A’s proposal ‘the sketch’
images courtesy of organisation in design




dutch designer maarten baas has collaborated with SDK vastgoed to oversee a competition where two teams, each comprised of four dutch and foreign architects from van aken architecten to re-imagine a striking scheme to rejuventate ‘one of netherlands’ ugliest places’.



coinciding with dutch design week 2015, both groups – simply named ‘team A’ and ‘team B’ – will unveil their design to allow the opportunity for the public to determine their favorite by casting a vote. team A’s design features a cluster of vibrantly colored towers- each rising at different heights, meanwhile team B has imagined the building as two structures with house-shaped windows protruding randomly across its façades. the contrasting proposals would be sited at the dilapidated ‘marconiplein’ in the dutch city of eindhoven.



‘what fascinates me about the people in this profession is how they emphasise the practicality of each aspect. architects tackle things in a fairly rational and practical way, which is often diametrically opposed to my more intuitive approach.’ comments maarten baas. ‘I rather like the idea of a battle. two teams who compete with each other and who aren’t allowed to apply their usual methods to the task at hand. all of us, both the architects and myself, were working far outside our comfort zones, which generated a nice degree of tension. and this is reflected in the result.’

team B’s ‘house-UP!’, an organically designed scheme with protruding house-shaped windows

model of show at dutch design week / the buildings have been grouped together like a village
image © designboom




‘the sketch’ reflects the history of eindhoven, the development reflects the atmosphere of the past, and at the same time combines modern city living. the series of buildings is created like a village where the design was developed through sketches and drawn without the constraints of a ruler.

scale model showing the rear of the scheme
imae © designboom

the theme of time was was the driving concept of this design
image © designboom




the design of ‘house-UP’ uses the theme of ‘time’ and is characterized the traditional house typology which is recognized throughout the city. the concept aims to celebrate the origins of the quaint and small scale house in a new and unique way by raising the iconic form of traditional and identifiable house ‘up high’.



read more of designboom’s dutch design week coverage here.

the rear of ‘house UP’
image © designboom

  • Pref the front elevation of ‘Team A’ but the treatment of the rear aspect is poor. The rear view of the ‘Team B’ proposal looks much more cohesive.

  • I think both schemes are pretty cool and playful!

  • I prefer the gingerbread house to the play d’oh houses. (is there a ‘before’ picture?)

  • they took re-imagining ´ugly` too literally

  • If the contest was to make the plaza even uglier, this is a solid tie.


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