Perception of Proximity

Graduation studio Industrial Water Street
Dr. Ir. Irene Curulli & Dr. Ir. Gijs Wallis de Vries

Within the masterplan for the Vlisco area along the canal in Helmond as developed by Dominique Geelen, Rik Verhalle and myself, I chose to focus on the architectural design of the redevelopment of the largest Vlisco building, Building North. Starting point for this design was an extensive theoretical research on the topic of perception of proximity.
‘It all has to do with proximity and distance. The classical architect would call it scale. But I mean something more bodily than scales and dimensions.’ Peter Zumthor (2006)
A building can be perceived as distant and aloof or in contrast as nearby and welcoming. The relation between architecture and this perception of proximity of a building has been researched with the redevelopment of Building North as ultimate case study. Through architectural interventions the perception of proximity was altered, transforming the enormous factory building from being perceived as distant and aloof to having a more proximate perception. This resulted in an approachable and attracting building, befitting the new public functions.