‘The 4 Worlds’ is located in the Dijkzone area of Spijkenisse, right next to the River Oude Maas. The remarkable apartment complex contains 250 rental and owner-occupied dwellings interwoven with one another. The building is visually divided into four parts that refer to the typical neighbourhood layout in Spijkenisse, where each neighbourhood has an identity of its own that is enhanced by the use of materials. The lowest portion is finished in shiny white tiles. The tallest tower rises 70 metres and is faced in dark glass. The other two volumes are finished in matt concrete. All dwellings enjoy a view of either the River Oude Maas or the town of Spijkenisse.
The Four Worlds is the first building in the development of Dijkzone. A distinctive feature of Spijkenisse is the many neighbourhoods of terraced housing. Owing to the ageing population in these neighbourhoods, seniors are having to relocate to apartments elsewhere. The Four Worlds offers them a home, and Mei has given them back their sense of place and neighbourhood. Places for encounters are therefore important elements in the complex, which features a recreation deck containing a barbecue area, petanque and tennis court, and a big glasshouse. In addition, the randomly protruding balconies create opportunities to strike up conversations with neighbours.
Letters in concrete
Artist Milou van Ham collected hundreds of words that convey the identity of Spijkenisse and cast them in the facade and balcony components. Two layers of words can be distinguished: the first can be read vertically from a distance of about 300 metres from the building; and the second can be read from the balconies of the apartments. A grid of words also adorns the bottom side of the balconies. The choice for a low-cost construction system in combination with a high-standard facade finish made it possible to keep the market price of apartments low. Geothermal energy is the source for the building. Investment in an individually controllable geothermal heat pump ensures low living and energy costs. The Energy Performance Certificate is 0.49