The project, which was part of the Blue Moon masterplan by Toyo Ito, was intended to intensify the connection between Groningen City and its new extension.
The brief required the 5 x 5 m site in the Schuitenwerksquartier area – historically characterised by boat traffic, sluices, docks and pensions facilities for travellers and merchandisers arriving in the city – to be developed for residential use. Given the history of the site, we proposed an aparthotel for travellers, the temporary inhabitants of Groningen, traders, tourists and drifters.
The four storey tower, is clad in perforated aluminium openable panels that can enable it to be fully opened or closed. Like a tent or a sleeping bag, the façade allows the nomadic inhabitants to reconfigure their dens, similar to the zipping and unzipping of a sleeping bag, to suit their needs. Each floor is accordingly able to frame its views of the outside and be transformed from total enclosure to total openness.