Camilla Casiccia – Graduation project 15/16
OCKENBURGH: A COOPERATIVE HOSTEL
The Ockenburg 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 was built as the extension 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 was disassembled in 2010 to be re-used at a new location. I chose this building as its history has many similarities with my mission: 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 others with the result that we lead our lives in the city quite independently. By applying Sennett’s view to an interior space I hope to gain social awareness and improvement of social life.
For the adaption of ‘a new Ockenburg’ to contemporary society in the neighbourhood Morgenstond in The Hague, I have created a cooperative programme with a focus on social values. It can be described as an urban alternative for the recent phenomenon of wwoofing; instead of paying money for their stay and make use of hostel services, travellers contribute by working in the hostel and in the surrounding area. In this way the hostel becomes a place where cooperation and sharing knowledge are the moving keys for activities. Also, the local people and travellers will get in touch with each other and learn from each other’s skills; hence it might bring added social benefits to the whole neighbourhood. In line with Van Klingeren’s ideal community building without walls – because only then communication would flourish – the key words for my design research are cooperation, social interaction and transparency. Through a disposition of different activity elements, such as benches, tables, beds, kitchens etc. in the free space of Ockenburg, I will reuse the original structure of the building as the base for my final design.
All images @INSIDE & Camilla Casiccia