From the editorial of issue DETAIL 9.2023
Mixed Uses, not Monofunctionality
How can we design buildings with spaces that permit a flexible and diverse range of uses? First as offices, then as apartments or kindergartens and later, perhaps, as laboratories? Reinier de Graaf describes their architecture as a kind of infrastructure that supports adaptation to changing functional programs, while offering maximum freedom of use. In our interview in this edition, the partner in OMA explains why the structure of such buildings becomes all the more uniform the more variable their future uses are envisioned to be, already during the design process.
We selected exciting projects for our September issue, focussing on mixed use concepts. They include residential and office spaces, sports halls and gastronomic functions, parking garages and student housing and many more within their complex programs. The possibly most interesting question regarding this building typology is how these different uses are organised: How are they accessed? How are they enmeshed, how are they separated? Are they stacked vertically or arranged horizontally? Which intersections between them are sensible?
We present current project examples from Brussels, New York and Vienna. They display different approaches to solutions that, in contrast to pure monofunctionality, support suprising degrees of diversity. Mixed uses can also contribute to a targeted revitalisation of existing buildings. We document this extensively, including detail drawings, in two process contributions on the Morland Mixité Capitale in Paris by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin and the Veemgebouw in Eindhoven by Caruso St John Architects.