DeFlat Kleiburg winner of the EU Mies Award

“Met de juiste aandacht en middelen gloort er voor veel naoorlogse gebouwen nog een mooie toekomst”, schreef Vincent Kompier ruim twee jaar geleden over DeFlat Kleiburg. De EU Mies Award die het project afgelopen vrijdag werd toegekend, onderstreept dit alleen maar.

Kleiburg in 2014 tijdens een open dag – foto Paul van den Berg

Press release:
The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award is granted every two years to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe.

DeFlat is an innovative renovation of one of the biggest apartment buildings in The Netherlands called Kleiburg, a bend slab with 500 apartments in Amsterdam’s Bijlmermeer neighbourhood. Consortium DeFlat rescued the building from the wrecking ball by turning it into a “Klusflat”, meaning that the inhabitants renovate their apartments by themselves. The architects are NL architects and XVW architectuur and the client Kondor WesselsVastgoed.

The Jury valued that the project is a collective effort by many people. The architectur al concept was to transform the megablock into a contemporary residential building with flexibility in internal planning, and creating a new edge to the street and the landscape – and yet do as little as possible. They considered it to be ‘both heroic and ordinary at the same time’. As the Jury Chairman said, “ It challenges current solutions to the housing crisis in European cities, where too often the only ambition is to build more homes year – on – year, while the more profound question of what type of housing should be built goes unanswered.
Kleiburg helps us imagine a new kind of architectural project, which responds to changing household patterns and lifestyles in the twenty – first century. A revitalisation of typologies of the past is as relevant as experimenting with new, untested models in this quest, just as radically transforming existing buildings is.” The project inspires reflection on the new and complex reality of contemporary living. It proposes new forms of “affordable housing”, adding to what is universally a complex and multi – layered offer (ranging from fully subsidized rent to shared ownership and rent – purchase schemes) by providing options for the large majority who have a little money but cannot afford to get on the conventional property ladder. This is low – cost habitable space ( € 1,200 per m2) – a fantastic new option that does not currently exist.

This years jury members were: Stephen Bates, Gonçalo Byrne, Peter Cachola Schmal, Pelin Derviş, Dominique Jakob, Juulia Kauste, Małgorzata Omilanowska.