Agaathhof wins BNA Best Building Award 2017 in the Private Living Experience category

On Friday 19 May Agaathhof was among the prize-winners during the presentation of the BNA prize. The housing project in Groningen won the Best Building Award 2017 in the Private Living Environment category. “This project demonstrates that you can also develop individual housing requirements with modular construction. The design is an exemplary interpretation ? corresponding from street to house: the well-deserved winner of this category” according to the jury chaired by Hans Wijers. In this annual competition organised by the BNA (Dutch Association of Architecture practices), the added value of the architecture for client and society is of central importance.

Agaathhof is situated in the city centre of Groningen: 17 urban homes are positioned round a communal courtyard, with a spacious car park underneath. As regards form, composition, detailing and choice of materials, the modern courtyard interlinks naturally with the existing historical street pattern and the surrounding architecture.

“In the jury’s opinion this project displays a good balance between prefab construction and personal living requirements, and between private and public spaces. The courtyard is attractively embedded  in the urban fabric, the typology reflects the identity of the location . The jury considers the transition from the street to the collective courtyard, via a wide stairway, as “sublime”. You sense that the courtyard belongs to the residents, but you can look through it. Whereas traffic circulation routes and outdoor areas in most residential developments are considered unimportant, here great attention has been paid to the design of the courtyard garden, the parking facilities and even the storerooms. One minor criticism regarding the height of the flower box in the courtyard: it makes the space less suitable as a place for socialising.”

Jurjen van der Meer and Tjeerd Jellema received the award during the presentation in the ASR building in Utrecht. The Public Transport Terminal in Breda, by Koen Van Velsen architecten, won the overall jury award and the public award went to Stadhuiskwartier in Deventer, designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architecten.