ALONG ANY HIGHWAY, 2001
The paradox of a successful highway house is that such a house, built in great numbers - due to its success - will once again frustrate the relation between the highway and its surroundings. Maxwan wondered: which shape, if applied in great numbers, will be an enrichment, not a disturbance, of the highway experience? The answer has already been given by nature: a tree, a large volume with a small footprint. By putting building volumes on thin legs, mass and transparency are no longer mutually exclusive qualities.
Rest assured, Maxwan did NOT take the tree metaphor literally. The decision to design using a sphere as the point of departure has a deeper background. The ball is without direction and allows for very loose urban arrangements. The ball offers fantastic 360 degree panorama's from its interior. The ball also generates the possibility of a vertical panorama: sky, horizon and earth in one view. The ball is geometrically simple, its fašade can be assembled from a large number of similar elements and is economically feasible.
Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment
Along any highway
partner in charge
ABT-Delft (structural engineering)
Competition 3rd prize