Moviera offers advice, help and shelter to people facing domestic violence. The organization’s integral approach aims to sustainably restore safety in the families involved and to prevent the recurrence of violence. Moviera wanted to increase its (acute) shelter capacity and thus decided, for the first time in its history, to commission a new construction. We had the pleasure of designing two new Moviera facilities at two very different locations in Utrecht and Arnhem.
The new facility in Utrecht is being built in the Leidsche Rijn district, in a neighbourhood where, in addition to homes, there are also shops, offices and gyms. In terms of volume and construction, the building fits in nicely with the area’s urban design (the facade is made of brick, the same as the surrounding buildings). For the client, it was very important to create a safe environment; for example, the children staying at the shelter should be able to play outside without anyone having to worry. Moreover, the building needed to be well connected to the surrounding neighbourhood. Openness was key: the problems that Moviera aims to solve should not be hidden away from society.
Around the building, which consists of two volumes, the site has been kept as open as possible. In addition to a private garden for the temporary residents, there is another garden that is accessible to the neighbourhood. When you walk through the entrance, you are immediately in the heart of the building. There is a direct view of the garden and a family room where partners/families can meet and work on their relationship. There is also a large communal area on the ground floor for meetings, lectures and birthday parties. This space also forms a safe, yet imperceptible buffer between visitors and the residents.
Living rooms and bedrooms can be switched flexibly depending on the influx of residents. This flexibility allows Moviera to offer comfortable accommodation to clients with and without children. Much of the building’s electricity is generated by solar panels on the roof. Everything is aimed at helping people facing domestic violence get through a difficult period so that, after a little while, they can move on strengthened and with a new perspective.