The Couch

Designed to be a meeting place for young and old in IJburg, the new district in East Amsterdam, The Couch by MVRDV is a Club House of a Tennis Club that has 10 Clay Courts and a Tennis School.

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

The design affords an overlooking vista of the waters of IJ Lake, complete with a platform to view from . The whole concept is “open-ness,” being accessible to the public free of charge at all times, a place to hang-out with friends or to spend some solitary time.

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

The whole building is to be built so as to seamlessly integrate itself into the fabric of its surroundings and to represent Dynamism of Sports, serving as an inspiration for young players to rise above all.

“With the Couch, we have integrated sport into society, says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “By turning the roof of the club-house into a tribune, a Centre Court is created. Here we celebrate the talent of the amateur players who are challenged to excel in front of the public”

Floor Plan -Courtesy of MVRDV

Floor Plan -Courtesy of MVRDV

The Architecture of the space is a multi-functional hall in the center with services like dressing rooms, storage, kitchen and toilets flanking it on both sides. A rectangular volume with the roof sloping down towards south and rising up-to 7 meters in the north, it is flooded with natural lighting from the North side with the added benefit of the IJ lake-side view.

Main Elevation -Courtesy of MVRDV

Main Elevation -Courtesy of MVRDV

The interior of the Club is Concrete clad with FSC-certified wood and the outsides are sealed with EPDM Polymer hot-spray giving it the same texture and feel as that of the clay courts. The design is climatically correct with the South façade gaining the least number of glazed surfaces owing to the larger heat gain on that side. The building materials used also ensure the energy efficiency of the place.

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

The building will have a district heating mechanism complete with a heat exchange system for heating in winters, while, Natural ventilation would serve well during Summer Season.

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

The building sets its mark and highlights itself by the use of red polyurethane on the exteriors.

“By covering the entire building in red polyurethane the club gains visibility: an advert for sports and movement. The essence of the building is the stimulation of fitness and the fight against obesity and inactivity.” – Winy Maas

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Not just another club-house, the Couch successfully sends the message its Architects want it to. At present with 1100 members of the 16000 inhabitants of the new IJburg district, the Couch forms part of the envisioned plan for six artificial islands with 18000 homes and 45000 residents.

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Courtesy of MVRDV- Photography : Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

“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 a part of the community like piece of street furniture.”

By : Antara Jha

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