Lapis Lazuli © Kraaijvanger Architects - 3097_03_N5_site.jpg

Lapis Lazuli


Build for eternity

Design a building that seems to have been there for 100 years. Like a warehouse from the 17th century with a tough and timeless appearance. That contributes to the vitality and liveliness of the city.

Lapis Lazuli is a "mixed-use" building that is the final fitting piece for the city center of Heerhugowaard: a growing city with a high sustainability ambition.. The current city office and the Middenwaard shopping center on the town square will soon be accompanied by Lapis Lazuli. This warehouse-like building has a lively plinth that connects with the activities on the square. The generous, central staircases invite to make a grand entrance to the square and inner garden.


A city square as live showroom

The lively city square works like a shop window. Where on Monday the "zero-waste" greengrocer stands next to the starch-based-printed sportswear seller. Where every Tuesday there is iceskating on the solar-powered rink. Where from Thursday to Saturday evening bands perform with loud cheers from the audience. While at the same time young people and seniors on the terraces enjoy Dutch traditional stews next to exotic dishes. Diverse and future-oriented, the square lends itself to countless activities. The building interacts with the square by introducing "the window of Heerhugowaard". The large dimensions and heights of Lapis Lazuli, together with a flexible main layout, form the basis for a building that can breathe in the future. We want to build for eternity and adjust our designs accordingly. The diversity of functions and forms of living ensure that the building makes an essential contribution to a vital and vibrant city.

The making of

De ziel van de opgave pragmatisch uitwerken

Kraaijvanger has organized a number of workshops together with the client, the municipality and the Kossman de Jong agency to determine the soul of the assignment. It had to be determined in advance what was needed in that specific place on the square. Research has been done into the history, education, character of the city and destinations that can give the square a soul. We also wanted to enliven the square and add a commercially interesting program. The soul is reflected in the base of the building. The plinth activates the square because it is 'the shopping window' of the building. An integral multidisciplinary design team was then put together with the client in which Kraaijvanger was responsible for integrating the various disciplines into the design process. In the integral BIM model, all design data of the cooperating parties are coordinated.


Social sustainability in an urban setting

A conversation from your balcony with the neighbor who walks in the green oasis of the public courtyard, after which you get a breath of fresh air and meet neighbors in the urban gallery and in the square. Or where you 'socialize' in the plinth by grabbing a healthy lunch, or a drink in a beer hall, or the espresso bar. That is living in Lapis Lazuli.

Buildings which have a positive impact on their users are better appreciated and used more intensively and yet more carefully. As a result, they develop a higher value and, despite years of intensive and highly variable use, will not be demolished quickly. As a result, they contribute to a circular economy.

Lapis Lazuli is an example of social sustainability within a compact apartment block for a broad target group in an urban setting. The design of the project contributes to the appreciation of the building itself and the immediate environment and thus has a positive social impact.

The building offers diverse housing with many compact homes for young people starting on the housing market, but also high-end apartments in the higher segment. Wide balconies provide the opportunity for extended stay and views on the outside space and invite you to contact neighbors and passers-by. To prevent loneliness and to stimulate encounters, various meeting places have been realized. Common functions have been designed such as a meeting room, bicycle shed with shop window, green courtyard and grandstand stairs between square and garden. On the street are residential work homes that are accessible from the street to guarantee interaction and social safety around the building. The courtyard, roof terraces and some facades are green. On the square is the "Heerhugowaard shop window" in the form of large double-height halls filled with catering, exhibition space and educational functions.


Lapis Lazuli








M.J. de Nijs Projectontwikkeling


Hans Goverde, Damla Demir, Hashmat Fagirzada, Gerrard Heimans, Janet Snoeijen, Edward Timmermans, Paul Tobé, Aleksandra Waluda

Clouds come floating
around my home, not
longer to carry rain, but to
add colours