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[Zones Urbaines Sensibles] researches and intervenes in the contemporary urban landscape with productions ranging from urban plans and architecture to installations and fashion. Within this complex field we find ourselves constantly in between two positions: as co-author and as critic.

ZUS works with a belief that every place has the potential to become unique and thrilling. A spatial intervention should therefore always be inspired by the specific qualities of the situation and driven by an optimistic attitude. We have to deal with rapid changing conditions and adapt our tactics to give shape to our constantly modernizing society. With designs for urban districts, parcs, public spaces, buildings and installations we try to contribute to a collective and sustainable future.

Architecture has become marginalized in the last two decades by responding mainly to the demands of the market. ZUS reclaims the public role of the architect by making social challenges explicit by means of unsolicited architecture and architectural activism. With proposals, exhibitions and publications we not only contribute but also question and criticize the field we work in.

Office Profile

The duo Van Boxel and Koreman and their office ZUS are working on solicited and unsolicited designs and research studies in the field of architecture, urbanism and landscape design. With a strong belief that the architect has to claim a strong position in the public debate on the future of our cities, Van Boxel and Koreman see a large share of their pro-active work as urban politics.

The imaginary power of architecture can contribute to a necessary shift of boundaries between private and public, short and long term, temporary and permanent. It’s within these paradoxes that true progressive projects can emerge that on the one hand take a long-term responsibility and on the other hand offer a possibility for user- and civic engagement. The projects of ZUS are therefore never just architectural statements, but fundamentally routed within the city, civic society and within a extensive planning tradition.

A typical result of their proactive working method is the Test Site Rotterdam. As an ignition Van Boxel and Koreman turned a vacant office block in the middle of Rotterdam into an urban laboratory, now known as the Schieblock penetrated by a 340 meter wooden pedestrian bridge, the Luchtsingel that will re-connect separated parts of the fragmented city center of Rotterdam. It will serve as a backbone for the development of a series of new public spaces. While the bridge is partly crowd-funded, it also received the Rotterdam City Initiative 2012 as investment for the development of the bridge. New programming and public spaces. The finalisation of the whole project is within the year.


We are building a bridge and we need your help!


In the context of the 5th IABR, ZUS has launched an initiative for crowd funded citymaking. I Make Rotterdam is a new way of creating urban qualities in a post-crisis economy. Through web- and digital applications citizens will be given full opportunity of private development: small-scale, non-bureaucratic, low-budget. I Make Rotterdam will be developed in the next years as a contemporary alternative for large-scale city planning, since traditional developing strategies have proven to fail in the current market economy.

As a first step in this long term process, the Luchtsingel will be realized in april 2012. Luchtsingel is a 350 meter span pedestrian bridge, which will re-connect Rotterdam Central District with the Hofbogen. The area surrounding Hofplein used to be place full of livelihood, when now it’s dominated by cars and lack of public domain. Luchtsingel is the first step in bringing back urban qualities adding small-scale interventions to the urban fabric. Luchtsingel is a fully crowd funded project: anyone can contribute.[1]


  1. [1]ZUS_seen on Dec 12, 2014