African Design Magazine December 2015 - Page 51

International project The Couch UCH HE In Trieste, Italy, SoNo Arhitekti’s design won the 1st prize in the invited architectural competition for the Slovenian book center. I Jburg is a new district to the east of Amsterdam. On its six artificial islands, 18 000 homes will eventually be built for 45 000 residents. At present, the district holds just 16 000 of these inhabitants. There are many initiatives to attract people to the area, such as the beach at Blijburg aan Zee, and the newly formed IJburg Tennis Club itself. The tennis club, currently with 1 100 members, has 10 clay courts and a tennis school. The new club house will be the centre of the club’s activities. The zoning for the area allowed space for a tennis club, but a building could not be built quickly enough, and so the courts were made and a temporary facility installed. MVRDV’s design will now fill this gap with an iconically functional building which provides both a viewing platform and a club overlooking the water. The aim of the club is to be as accessible as possible, meaning that it is open to the public, free o f charge, 365 days a year. Not a private club, but a meeting place for young and old, where you can grab a coffee and a healthy snack, or meet with friends, or even just check your emails. MVRDV’s challenge was to create a building that works as a central gathering for the area. A living room for IJburg, where the building becomes