Archive – Urban planning

Sorrow of Sumatrastraat – the complete saga


Sorrow of Sumatrastraat – the complete saga

P R E S S  R E L E A S E
Sorrows of Sumatrastraat finally over

October 2009 – Renovation of the inner courtyard at Sumatrastraat 243 – 271 will be carried out shortly, which among other things will involve repaving.

More importantly, it will also include the demolition of the steel skeleton currently erected on the site in order to optimize access and maintenance work.

This means that the building plans of architect Bulhorst will definitely not be realized.

Current owner of the site, Vellinga Vastgoed BV, has always had a problem with the design and shares the objections officially submitted by those living in the neighbourhood.

As part of Vellinga Vastgoed’s social investment activities through a special foundation set up by the company to financially support development projects in Kenya, the proceeds from the sale of the demolished steel girders will go the Mwangulu Primary School in Lunga Lunga near Mombasa, “adopted” in 2002.

The Hague, 1 October 2009
Vellinga Vastgoed BV


Joy in Sumatrastraat

September 2010 – Finally, the hour has come! The Council issued the demolition order and the girder construction in Sumatrastraat, an eyesore and source of sorrow for so many years, will be dismantled.


Lawsuit

On Tuesday 3 February 2009 the lawsuit ‘Het Verdriet van de Sumatrastraat’ brought by local residents is due to be heard at the Hall of Justiice at Prins Clauslaan 60.

Fighting a skeleton
It was supposed to have been an apartment building, but the project came to a standstill due to repeated setbacks. According to local residents, if the council had just listened to those in the neighbourhood it would never have got this far. “You can indeed call it the sorrows of Sumatrastraat,’’ says Maarten Rouppe van der Voort, who lives next door to the doomed site. “For eight years nothing happened and then a palisade-like construction was erected that did not conform to the planning permission granted by the municipal council. Since then it has just been standing there.”


Saga of the “Sorrows of Sumatrastraat “

On 2 June 2006, the so-called “highest point” of the construction of the structural framework of the small glass and steel apartment complex at the end of Sumatrastraat, close to the corner with Koninginnegracht, was reached and summarily marked with the hoisting of the flag.

It’s now February 2007 and there has been little progress. The girder structure remains unchanged and there is no sign of any building work.
Those who pop along to take a look will see that the structure is totally out of keeping with rest of the street. No wonder that it has become a “site worth seeing’ in our neighbourhood.

There has been bitter opposition from the street residents right from the moment the plans were submitted because the design is totally out of character with the rest of the Archipelbuurt. And the fact that the architect Rainer Bullhorst managed to get this far, in spite of all the protests, still remains a mystery.

The point is that the girder skeleton appears to be 60 cm higher that indicated in the original drawings (see arrow on photo on left). This means that the structure projects above the adjacent property by 210 cm instead of 1.50 cm (photo Frank van Rossum).

In the autumn of 1999 a number of local residents, represented by Mr. Maarten Rouppe van der Voort, explained their objections to the proposed building plans during a public council meeting chaired by councillor H.J. Meijer. Unfortunately, the heated discussions which followed were to no avail. The existing original 19th-century property was demolished and the council granted planning permission to Mr. De Zoete, the developer, and R. Bullhorst, the architect. For all those present at the meeting, including the chairman, the whole building inspectorate, council members and members of the public, it was the architectural drawings and the model produced by the architect which formed the starting point on which the ensuing debate and subsequent decisions were based.

 

Above left, the street elevation of the new property to be built at 243 Sumatrastraat which clearly indicates that the beam that will partly support the roof (and projects out on the left) is level with the ridge board of the adjacent building. Above right, a drawing in which the envisaged height is the same as that of the house adjacent at 241/239 Sumatrastraat (Drawing: Bullhorst Architecten & Stedebouwers).

In November 2006 the chairman of the traffic, inner city and monuments executive, Mr. M. Norder, visited Sumatrastraat to take stock of the situation. He too found that the new building was completely out of character.

At the end of January 2007 it was shown that the structural skeleton had not been built according to the original drawings or model.

Measurements were taken and the new construction is indeed 60 cm higher than was indicated in the architectural drawings presented at the meeting in 1999. It is clear from the original plans that the beam which will partly support the roof is level with the ridge board of the adjacent building.The top and front of the new building must align with the roof gutter of the adjoining house and this is not the case. The skeleton currently projects 210 cm above the house next door whereas in the plans and model this should only be 1.50 cm.
The result is that the whole building is even more colossal than was ever originally imagined.

On 4 February 2007 a letter entitled “Het verdriet van de Sumatrastraat” was sent to chairman Norder pointing out that all interested parties in 1999 have been misled by Mr. De Zoete and Mr. Bullhorst.
Signatories of the letter, Maarten en Joke Rouppe van der Voort and Frank and Ellen van Rossum from Sumatrastraat, with the support of other residents, are carefully considering further action.

The model (left) produced by Bullhorst Architects also clearly shows that the beam which will partly support the roof (and projects out on the left) is level with the ridge board of the adjacent building.

 

Please send reactions to M.A.A. Rouppe van der Voort:rouppe@freeler.nl


Building in Sumatrastraat underway – the flag’s flying!

After much resistance, the construction of the small apartment complex at the end of Sumatrastraat, close to the corner with Koninginnegracht, has begun. Everything has gone so smoothly so far the “highest point” had already been reached on 2 June 2006 and was summarily marked with the hoisting of the flag.

However for many local residents it was “Black Friday”. Those living in Sumatrastraat have managed to block the work for four years because they objected to a building of glass and steel in a neighbourhood with such an indivdual character.

However for many local residents it was “Black Friday”. Those living in Sumatrastraat have managed to block the work for four years because they objected to a building of glass and steel in a neighbourhood with such an indivdual character.

During the Whitsun weekend disgruntled Archipel residents came to watch; some with their whole families from outside the city. They gathered in groups, voicing their objections and disappointment: “this can’t be possible”, “That this has been allowed …”, “It can’t de done like this!”, “Surely, it’s not allowed?”

Initially they thought it was just scaffolding in front of the building but soon realized that it was the structure of the building itself. The building projects above everything else and will remind the neighbourhood for years, how this sort of thing “should not be done”. The saddest thing about the whole business is that the owner was prepared to consider an alternative design but the architects did everything in their power to push through their design and in the end got their way.