Like-a-Leaf Landscape Building

Hospitality pavilion and indoor playground in Hillegersberg, Rotterdam NL

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In Plaswijckpark, an indoor playground has been realised that mingles and integrates with the green landscape and adds to the surrounding scenic quality. LIKE A LEAF_LANDSCAPE BUILDING manifests itself as a lifted landscape of dual landuse that can be used for play underneath as well as on top.

The amusement park Plaswijckpark has been divided into three main parts for children; Dierenwijck(animal district), Wandelwijck(wandering district) and Speelwijck(playing district). Within Plaswijckpark there is a thematic subdivision into six areas wherein clusters of attractions are found. One of these subdivisions has been assigned to the new accommodations that form, together with its surroundings, an important part in the whole of the park.
The origin of the park has been an important starting point in the design of the new location. Previously, when a new attraction was build, it was compensated for by perfecting the green areas of the park. LIKE A LEAF incorporates such compensation within its design rather then elsewhere in the park. LIKE A LEAF merges quality in architecture with quality in landscaping. Boundaries between landscape and building fade, creating an accommodation for activities and attractions that respects the context of the park.

moving gig2 like-a-leaf

The inspiration for LIKE A LEAF’s design is a fallen leaf. Where the curling edges of the leaf touch the ground the landscape of the roof and the surrounding terrain meet and blend, turning the roof into a physically integrated part of the park in the form of a hill. The building serves as such as an extension of the landscape. A second part of LIKE A LEAF is formed by steel and glass in the form of a greenhouse construction. This part forms the seasonal square, the restaurant, and the restrooms. The construction is flanked by a structure of folded surfaces that form an overgrown pergola, thus directly corresponding with the green roof and surrounding park landscape. LIKE A LEAF reacts to seasonal changes by increasing and reducing the size of its indoor space. During summer, the covered seasonal square is in use as a passage through which the main routing of the park flows and a connection of the surrounding square. In winter it can be closed, adding over 200m2 to the indoor spaces.
The area for play and the restaurant are connected by the first floor that ends as a balcony overlooking the indoor playground. Permanent facilities have been designed as little buildings, corresponding to the spread of small buildings throughout the park, confirming the image of LIKE A LEAF as part of the park landscape.

The construction of the roof landscape has not been hidden from the visitor and the interior shows the mindset of the design. The system of the veins of the leaf is visible in the steel beams supporting the roof. The spaces between the beams are filled with lanes of structural wooden box elements, alternating lighter pinewood elements with darker elements filled with woodfibre as acoustic surface, thus visualising the roof as a leaf.

Wooden box elements that regulate humidity have been applied. The pinewood, from sustainable forestry, has been left untreated and will, depending on the humidity, absorb or release vapour. The green roof acts in the same way in regard to rainwater by forming a buffer for surplus rainwater and gradually releasing it to its surroundings. The green covered roof and pergolas serve a practical use in summer, helping to keep the building cool in a natural way. Taken together, this makes LIKE A LEAF a healthy building with a small ecological footprint.

Location: Plaswijckpark, Rotterdam
Client: Stichting Plaswijckpark, Rotterdam
Architect: Ssse|OvO associates architects, Amsterdam
Designteam: Gilbert Koskamp, Pierre Jennen, Michiel Atman, Johan Rooijackers, Sjoerd Hoogewerf, Marie-Louise Mejholm, Patrick Bedarf
Structural Engineer: H.E. Lüning adviesbureau voor technische houtconstructies bv, Doetinchem
Main contractor: Fraanje bv, Leeuwedorp
Steel construction: Meijers Staalbouw, Serooskerke
Roof box elements: Lignatur AG, Waldstatt CH
Green roof: Leven op Daken bv, De Meern
Playground design: Jora Vision bv, Rijnsburg
Management and supervision: CBB Centraal Bureau Bouwtoezicht, Arnhem
Counseler building physics: DGMR raadgevend ingenieurs bv, Anrhem
Size: 2500m2 interior, 350m2 play roof, 2000m2 park landscape design
Realisation: Start design 2009, start construction 03/2012, completion 04/2013


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