Sustainable game for the neighbourhood


Architectural Studio ZJA and Arttenders recently presented ‘Sidelingepark The Game’, as a contribution to the development of the Starrenburg-Kouwenhoek area and its future sports centre. The game enables Rotterdam City Council, based on the retrieved information, to get working internally and with stakeholders in an easy, playful way on its efforts to develop an all-encompassing vision for ‘Sports Facilities Plus’ in the Sidelingepark. The box containing the game is made of cardboard left over from an existing ZJA project.

Social needs and spatial opportunities

Under the heading of a commission from Rotterdam City Council to develop designs for social real estate, ZJA and Arttenders investigated to which social requirements and spatial opportunities the future ‘Sports Facilities Plus’ in the Sidelingepark in Overschie could contribute. Along with stakeholders, local needs and wishes were explored, as well as opportunities for social functions in and around the future sports centre. In addition to the required elements, no fewer than 64 requests for additions to the programme and social values relevant to the area were uncovered. This  information has been incorporated into the game. Along with a number of recommendations, it forms the starting point for the next phase.

Different interests at play

The city council can deploy the game as a communication tool between the different stakeholders, thereby giving play to different interests and preconditions as spatial choices are weighed up, in order to arrive at the best combination of programme, spatial intervention and collaboration in the project’s realization and exploitation, ensuring that what the Sidelingepark has to offer will be as comprehensive as possible.

Beauty of reused cardboard

A lot of thought has gone into the physical game as well. The box is hand made out of material left over from the Timeless Box. This is cardboard kept by ZJA ever since the delivery of that project in 2015, in the hope of using it one day. For the interior of the Timeless Box, a skybox in the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, ZJA used 6,000 sheets of corrugated cardboard, 6mm thick and cut with a laser, then glued together by hand to make an undulating whole. It showed that through the combination of a refined design, diligent manual work and the utmost concentration, a subtle beauty can emerge from this simple material.