Wooncomplex Kempkensberg

Groningen, NL

Wooncomplex Kempkensberg

On behalf of Slokker Vastgoed, a property developer, De Zwarte Hond has designed a residential complex of 36 owner-occupied homes and 40 rental properties. The project takes its name from Kempkensberg, a hill that used to stand south of the city of Groningen. In the future, the site will become part of the new Zuiderplantsoen which is yet to be designed. The Kempkensberg adjoins the public city gardens together with UNStudio’s DUO building. The purpose of the design brief was to anticipate the upcoming overpass of the Ring Zuid ring road, which will improve the connection with the city centre and integration with the surroundings.

The earthquake-resistant complex consists of two elongated, all-sided volumes of five storeys, oriented to the south and situated atop a shared parking garage. Between the two volumes is a central square that serves as the main access route and which overlooks the city park like an urban balcony. The horizontal articulation and the light colour of the buildings match the architecture of the adjacent DUO building. The building addresses the city garden, but also Kempkensstraat at the rear. The sturdy plinth ensures a place for the programme, and that whatever is less attractive to the eye, such as parking spaces, disappears from view. The plinth also provides a good grounding for the ensemble in the city gardens, and it facilitates large outdoor spaces that contribute to the quality of life.

At the rear of the owner-occupied housing section, the overhangs are reduced in depth at the location of the horizontal bands. The combination with the vertical façade elements creates a façade that remains modest and thus maintains the clear architecture of the plan. The plan uses two typologies: the gallery-flat for the rental apartments and porch entrances for the owner-occupied apartments. The size of the apartments varies from 90 to 400 m². This makes this place, which was once part of the 17th-century Helperlinie defences, accessible to a range target groups.

Winner of the Groninger Architecture Prize 2021

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Wooncomplex Kempkensberg
Groningen, NL
Slokker Vastgoed BV Huizen/Zwolle
Ronald Zijlstra
Lodewijk Baljon Landschapsarchitecten, Nijhuis Assen, Alferink Van Schieveen, Deerns
  • Groninger Architecture Prize
    People's Choice Award
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