Open Ateliers is a modular building system inspired by the qualities of the studio houses from the early twentieth century with high spaces, lots of light and maximum freedom for the resident to live in and work in.
Ateliers 11 is the first small ensemble built with the system and is located in Utrecht, surrounded by an exit of a highway on one side and a beautiful recreational lake on the other side. These extreme contradictory conditions resulted in a mix of users and functions that would either benefit from the dynamics and visibility from the highway or enjoy the contemplating views over nature.
The mix of living and working happens both at the level of the unit, where working from home gets a natural place, and at the level of the ensemble when units are linked together. By mixing living and working per unit, a lively street scene is created throughout the day with a lot of social exchange, like we know from historic city centres.
The generic steel frame with a width of 5m20 and a standard height of three floors allows for many specific individual wishes. A garage with a double-height space on the street, a library with a void over three floors in the middle of the unit, an office space with three floors that can be used separately or together, a shop or a small neighbourhood supermarket that divides the space over two floors with the shop on the ground floor and storage above. Or a home, for a family, several couples or students. The roof of the unit is accessible and when the units are connected creates a collective roof terrace.
For the design of the facade a user can choose from a fixed number of facade elements, creating a varied street view that shows the diversity of the program behind and at the same time creates a strong collective appearance. Naturally, the mix of living and working, which is translated into standard elements, also creates hybrid situations whereby the entire facade of a living room opens by means of a sectional door and transforms into a large indoor outdoor space.
The modular construction system consists of easy-to-disassemble floors and facade elements, making future programmatic changes easy to adapt within the system and the street view always being a 'work-in-progress'.