Porten Development

21 | PORTEN DEVELOPMENT OZ is a full service design company which founder Wouter Zaaijer characterizes as ‘a practice of modernist architects’: “The projects range from single buildings to whole urban areas. Our design language is functional, we make spaces for people. Sustainability has always been a major factor in this, therefore we are founding partner of DGBC, the Dutch Green Building Council.” SHARED VALUES “What we like about Porten Development is that we see a genuine interest in the values we hold dear. Architects think about designs, functionality, and all the things that account for happy living. It is nice to meet a developer that is not only calculating the profits, but who also wants to build beautiful and qualitatively good buildings for people. In this we understand and respect each other.” Porten and OZ have recently been working on the Westflank Noord 3A/ Van Sijpesteijnkade project in the center of Utrecht. Zaaijer: “Here, we have realized a 90-meter high-rise with 270 small surface dwellings with a common rooftop, aimed at young professionals, singles and starting families. Sustainability is the key word, therefore we use underground heat and cold storage, among other installations. Since it is virtually on top of Utrecht Central Station, noise reduction was our main challenge. Luckily, we have vast experience in developing smart solutions and a large network of specialized engineers to tackle those issues.” HAPPY NEIGHBORHOOD In Weesp, the two companies cooperate on a residential project together with other developers. Zaaijer: “Here, we want to create the ultimate livable neighborhood. However, the area is full of empty buildings now, so it is not as straightforward as building from scratch. The municipality of Weesp requires 30% social housing, which has to be incorporated in the bigger plan. Furthermore, we are planning meeting areas, like an inner garden, and work spaces. Moreover, cars will be banned from the streets. This is what we like doing, completing the intricate puzzle that results in a really beautiful living environment.” WOUTER ZAAIJER OZ - INTERVIEW - Architects play a very important role in the development of properties. They have to reduce a broad range of questions to a single, workable and livable concept, taking both municipal requirements and investor demands into account. OZ architect Wouter Zaaijer loves this process: ‘It’s part of our DNA.’ ‘I BELIEVE IN COMMUNITIES THAT ARE BUILT AROUND PUBLIC TRANSPORT HUBS’