Mixing in: Architectenbureau JMW’s Kerckebosch mirrors its wooded setting

Mixing in: Architectenbureau JMW’s Kerckebosch mirrors its wooded setting

The Kerckebosch by Architectenbureau JMW is a new multifunctional community building in Zeist, a small Dutch town located in the western outskirts of the city of Utrecht. JMW envisioned the Kerckebosch as a new hub for the local community, created to provide support to the surrounding municipality’s inhabitants.

Situated in a picturesque, wooded area, the centre contains a comprehensive selection of social, residential and medical facilities all of which are organised within an easy-to-read and welcoming interior program. Sporting facilities at the complex’s basement are open to the general public, while the ground level mostly hosts social and medical spaces, catering for both the general public and the residents of the care apartments on the building’s upper floors.

The aesthetics and planning of the Kerckebosch were largely led by its context. JMW wanted to seamlessly blend the building with its surrounding nature, opting for a brown-gold anodized aluminium finish on the facade’s skin. This material has the ability to adapt to the changing colours of the trees during the seasons. The architects also worked around the existing topography and selected trees, which led to the structure’s undulating facade.

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows wrap around the building’s ground floor, creating a feeling of lightness. At the same time, the considered addition of the semi-transparent aluminium layer outside also ensures extra privacy to the upper levels residents.

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