MTB architecten: level Z youth center MTB architecten: level Z youth center
sep 04, 2012

MTB architecten: level Z youth center

‘youth center level Z’ by MTB architecten, zwolle, switzerland image © robert oerlemans all images courtesy of MTB architecten

john van dijk and rogier groeneveld of dutch firm MTB architecten set off on a collaborative design process with the citizens of zwolle to create the ‘level Z youth centre,’ a result of community input interpreted by the architects, who only took part in the design of the kitchen, toilets, fencing and stairs. the public was allowed to draft their own internal program by placing a wardrobe, dj tower and bar. they also purchased all the sound equipment, lighting, and furniture themselves, which can be completely re-organized and changed by future generations.

situated atop an earthen plinth, the young population wanted a robust structure separate from the urban landscape. few openings are cut into the rusty corrugated steel panels that wrap the facade in order to harness the sound-production from the three main spaces. a double-height multifunctional room contains a stage and sound system for concerts or parties, while the second floor can be used as a balcony into the miniature venue. offices and meeting rooms are found on the second storey, with larger windows for natural light and a smoker’s terrace. by popular demand, the interior is a raw exposed industrial environment with electrical and mechanical services in the open air.

approach from walkwayimage © robert oerlemans

entry and courtyardimage © robert oerlemans

geometric form outlines full-height glazing and  smoking balconyimage © robert oerlemans

corrugated rusted steel facadeimage © robert oerlemans

image © robert oerlemans

windows cut out of the rusted steel facadeimage © robert oerlemans

(left) second storey (right) stairsimage © robert oerlemans

staircaseimage © robert oerlemans

curved space allows for different usesimage © robert oerlemans

suspended lighting rigimage © robert oerlemans

multifunctional roomimage © robert oerlemans

site plan

floor plan / level 0

floor plan / level 1


project info:

architects bureau: john van dijk, mtb architecten apeldoorn – amsterdam i.c.w. 19 het atelier design: john van dijk and rogier groeneveld client: gemeente zwolle address: klokkengieterlaan, zwolle floorspace: 439 m2 volume: 1921 m3 construction costs:    € 650.000,- excluding technical installations contractor: prins bouw – ’t harde structural engineer: stoel partners – zwolle building physics cons.: cauberg-huygen raadgevende ingenieurs – zwolle

  • Like the exterior design ,not keen about the interior.

    TATTOO-LY says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news