Klazienaveen, a village in the municipality of Emmen in the Province of Drenthe, is divided by the Verlengde Hoogeveensevaart, locally called the Van Echtenskanaal. This waterway was partially filled in at the end of the seventies, so that inland shipping is a long-absent phenomenon. However, the village missed a genuine heart.
The Schip van Klazienaveen has now changed that. The building has been placed at a central position where there used to be water. It thus forms a connecting element between the north and south side of the former peat-winning village. The layout of the surrounding area allows the shops and catering facilities in the plinth to link up with the shops that once lay on the other bank of the canal, so that a centre has been created in a natural way. As such, the project is perhaps primarily more of an urban development intervention.
The volume is around 120 metres long and 30 metres wide. A passageway with a void above cuts through the building approximately halfway along the commercial plinth, thus enabling easy transition from one side to the other. Under the building is a subterranean car park with 125 parking places, 35 of which are reserved for the residents of the luxury apartments on the second and third storeys. These apartments are divided into various types: two of these have different sizes and layouts and are situated at the ends, while a third type fills the central bay and extends over the full width of the building from façade to façade. The apartments are accessed via galleries on the north side and boast a spacious loggia on the south side. Differently laid-out patios lie in the central strip of the building.
The residential floors narrow from the eaves downward. All around they are clad with a completely transparent skin with glass panels that swivel. This gives the building a powerful, modern allure, and also makes it possible to regulate the climate of the loggias and the galleries. The apartments have welcoming wooden-clad fronts along the galleries.