The Ockenburgh youth hostel in The Hague designed by the Dutch architect Frank Van Klingeren, is a modular, flexible building made of a dark steel structure. It means it can always move and adapt. It was built as the extention of a 19th century villa containing three stories with space for 400 beds. The hostel is fallen into abeyance due to its loss of function and it was disassembled in 2010 to be re-used at new location. I chose this building because I saw in its history a clear link to my goal: finding out how i can employ cooperation as a design tool. With a reference to the sociologist Richard Sennett I think people tend to avoid engagement with the result that we live our lives in the city quite independently. My aim for the hostel is adapting it to contemporary society but in a rather social way. I have created a cooperative programme that does not work around commercial values, but is rather focussed on social values foremost. It can be described as an urban alternative to the phenomenon of wwoofing. Where instead of using money, people will need to contribute by working in the neighbourhood and inside the hostel, in order to being able to stay over night and using the hostel services. A place where cooperation is the moving key of actions. It is a space that connects local people to travellers and bring social benefits. For the design I thought of reflecting the key words of my research in the design itself, such as cooperation, interactions and transparency. The idea for the design is to create interaction between people through the disposition of the services in the space using the structure of the building as the base for my design.
"Cooperation si working with others to do things you can not do by yourself" Richard Sennett
Programme for the hostel
“Social relations are experiences in the gut”