Dunamis Architettura

Dunamis Architettura


Land-Water Metamorphosis

What Architectures For Sustainable Cities?
Leeuwarden - Living With Water


Urban influences

The project encourages and emphases the entry to the Van Harinxmakanaal, at the centre of the site. The waterway is not to be seen as a non penetrable barrier between the city and the new areas of expansion, but it should be seen as a unifying agent for the development of new urban settlements. With this in mind and using this approach it aims to transform the river into a new centre of urban life, creating public urban spaces along the South bank (green pedestrian areas) and reunite the city using the two banks. Along the South bank the present rhythm identifiable over the fields becomes an element which characterizes the project, finalized by the conservation of the site and creating new tracts for future urban development of the area guaranteeing for all easy access to the river. The contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional building types offers to guarantee the future residents conditions of typical Freisian life, an integral and cultural part of the area.


Concept of this project

Metamorphosis : Leeuwarden is the birthplace of Escher and within the works of this artist, the project has found its starting point, a mono dimensional metamorphosis, which sees as a central axis the route of the Boksumerdyk. Along the route the Escherian transformation unfolds, which progressively changes the earth’s surface into water. The entire masterplan is conceived by the varying overlapping layers.



The water enters the area and becomes the principal mode of communication. An area for free time and a way to develop new social interactions. For this reason 85% of the site is covered with dwellings. The relationship with the ground varies and changes between the tourist port (located to the extreme West of the site), where there is an absolute prevalence of the waterways, and farms (to the far East of the site) where cultivated areas are dominant.



Across the concept of “data matrix code” the same building layers break to integrate with aquatic and terrestrial systems to complete the masterplan to guarantee all users a homogenous and flexible living space (made up of roadways, private green areas, parking and access areas – private dock – waterway). The definition in architectural language sees the pure form in net contrast to the apparent randomness chosen for the design. The simple parallelepiped volumes, finished with a layer of white render, become broken and at the same time highlighted by the surfaces of the common bricks (the brick is the typical material used in local architectural) that line other bodies more or less to cover the internal surfaces.


Team Leader: Giovanna Marchei
Design Team: Dunamis Architettura (Stefano Balassone, Lorenzo Cantalini), Rocco Pappaccogli
Staff: Roberta Pezzuti, Francesco Rotiroti

Leeuwarden – Holland


Leeuwarden Municipality

400 residential buildings – Masterplan