The underlying concept in the work of Studio Marco Vermeulen is the reciprocity between programme, location and raw materials. New programmatic alliances and typologies emerge by linking these in an intelligent way, contributing to the broadening of the discipline of architecture.The ever-increasing worldwide demand for energy, food and raw materials obliges us to consider fundamentally new directions and strategies while preserving and restoring ecosystems. Many current issues of varying scales are drawn together in the spatial design that will be needed to explore, inspire and guide the process of designing the brief. Integration with other fields of knowledge is essential. Architecture will have to become a catalyst of social renewal and a stimulus to technological innovation, a challenge beyond the mere addition of new technologies to existing spatial typologies. Many of the new challenges call for typological innovation, a fundamental reorientation of the existing spatial models and connections that calls for a healthy dose of positivism and originality.
A good design addresses several issues at the same time and creates value for as many aspects as possible. Studio Marco Vermeulen sees a key to economic, ecological and social profitability in the elimination of contradictions in the brief and the maximized combination of functions. For instance, the asphalted public area in the city can be designed in such a way that it also functions as a buffer for precipitation during heavy downpours. This entails a new typology – the water retention square – an attractive public place that encourages social contact and exchange while at the same time contributing to sustainable urban water management.
The spatial design for Clover 4 Greenport Venlo demonstrates an original design approach to industrial estates, which are often seen as a violation of the landscape and the environment in which we live, even though many people spend a large part of their lives in them. The strategic positioning and conscious design of a number of water management facilities results in an attractive work environment in a functional landscape.
A major ecological and economic advantage can be gained by combining functions that require a lot of energy, water and raw materials at the same location. Clustering and, where possible, stacking these functions enables the mutual exchange of surpluses and residual products, so that a large number of cycles can be self-contained on location.
While many technological developments have made us more distant from the world, architecture is able to give form to the renewed alliance with the elements and ecosystems, accommodating such an alliance by making it visible and legible, contributing to the awareness of interdependence. It is a great challenge to work with technological advances and scientific insights on new spatial solutions and typologies that facilitate a healthy and attractive residential environment. A vital architecture forms a synthesis between buildings and landscape in a natural and original way and expresses the interaction with the surroundings and the elements.