De Binnenplaats
Professional project, 2012

De Binneplaats is the courtyard of Stefanus culture centre situated at Utrecht Overvecht. The building (designed by Architecten van Mourik) hosts a theater and workplaces that surround the courtyard. This year, Stefanus decided to take advantage of the courtyard and transform it to a meeting place for the staff and the residents of the neighbourhood. In that way a more active character will be given to this central space that will be used as a foyer and a café. A glass roof is placed for cover that allows daylight enter the space.
Stortplaats van Dromen were asked to redesign the courtyard in close relation with the staff and the local residents.  

The first step was to create three different impressions - mediterranean, industrial, homelike - and let the residents choose what they like more. The highest percentage of votes was over mediterranean atmosphere, a cosy and warm space with many plants. This first collage was the starting point for the design process of the courtyard.

The high ceiling of the space hindered the feeling of intimacy that we intended to create, thus a “small balcony” has been introduced on one side of the courtyard. In that way an accessible extra space is introduced on a higher level which offers a different perspective of the courtyard. This balcony is in strong connection with another wooden platform on the ground floor that serves as a sitting area for the visitors.  The bar is positioned next to the theater entrance and in close relation to the inner kitchen. Wooden frames are placed around the theater doors to indicate the entrance while exhibiting what is on stage every day.
Blocks of colourful cob tiles walls, cabinets and pots with climbing plants are placed in front of the existing brick wall introducing a more cosy and warm atmosphere. On top of that, the porous tiles and the various plants placed in the courtyard increase the acoustic quality of the space.
Lighting fixtures are hanging in a high level from both sides of the brick wall creating an homogeneous distribution of light in the courtyard while smaller lighting fixtures are placed on every table.

The flexible character of the proposed space allows for different functions to coexist; café, foyer, expositions, lectures. The different levels give a freedom to the visitor to experience the space and find his own position while being part of the whole. Communal and individual activities can take place during the day.

Project at Stortplaats van Dromen

Design: Ifigeneia Dilaveraki, Rikkert Paauw, Jet van Zwieten, Ronnie Kommene

Stortplaats van Dromen is a design/construction studio with a focus in the use of second-hand and natural building materials.





Ifigeneia Dilaveraki