Former MAZA building

Reallocation project in Harlingen

This research I have done as part of my graduation project. For this, I carefully choose a project that inspired me. Therefore I choose the former MAZA building in Harlingen. Because of the impressive history (it was build by the German army during WWII in order to fabricate ammunition) and the appearance of the building, the local residents have saved it from destruction. Here a new interpretation had to be found.
The preliminary investigation showed that the craft industries are important for Harlingen and its inhabitants. There is also the fact that more and more ancient craftsmen disappear, with that the artisanal craft, there is increasing unemployment and higher educated disappear from Harlingen. To meet all these audiences the MAZA building will get the new function as Craft Centre where a variety of traditional crafts can be learned, such as woodworking and blacksmithing.

The building has a strong identity by it’s own. Because of its history but also by it’s typically architectural style called Heimatstyle. This munition factory was built by the German army in a way that it looked from above as it was a farm, so it became difficult for the German’s enemy (the Dutch savior) to recognize it as a target to bomb. I choose for the concept ‘Show me your identity’ because I find it important that we don’t loose these buildings with stories that shouldn’t be forgotten. To do this I left the construction as much as possible in it’s original state. I ‘highlighted’ the dark heart of the building by making the contrast bigger and by letting the shadows and the silhouettes of the craftsman from the surrounding rooms reach the center. This way it becomes a mythical experience.

In the building are besides the workspaces, a gallery, information center, a shop, a library and a restaurant. This way the crafts can be experienced by a broad public.

Based on this research, I hope to have realized a design in which local craft optimal comes into its own. And thus encouraged young and old to immerse themselves in the craft.