V23K16

Leiden / Netherlands / 2009

89
89 Love 8,171 Visits Published

Up until recently it was rather unusual that unprofessional clients would initiate private housing projects in Dutch inner cities. For a short time the Dutch government strives to change this tendency. In 2002 the Ministry of Housing passed a bill that from 2005 onwards 30% of the new buildings in the Netherlands must be developed by private clients. The development of the former slaughterhouse area in the historical city centre of Leiden, the Netherlands oldest university town, is the most representative example of its kind.


On the basis of a rigid urban master plan, designed by the Rotterdam based office MVRDV, private houses are built back to back on top of a collective parking garage. This leads to an extreme high density within the traditional low-rise urban tissue. With just the framework of a given envelope, clients are allowed a maximum freedom to realize their individual dreams. The Rotterdam based architectural office pasel.künzel architects recently completed a series of eleven different residential houses in this new neighbourhood. Dealing with the contemporary challenges in urban development, they show a variety of new and innovative typologies, allowing an inside view on urban planning and architecture in the Netherlands today.


The residential building is the realised competition entry, with which pasel.künzel architects won the competition ‘bouw mij’ in 2004. This prototype for an inner-city residential house focuses on two basic needs: light and open space. Through only one façade incident light has to be brought deep into the building to guarantee the spatial quality. Furthermore valuable open spaces are indispensable even for residential houses in urban environments. The basic structure divides the building into a service strip that includes the different distribution zones, the bathrooms, the kitchen and the technical facilities and an exposed space for the habitable rooms. Ground and first floor fuse to a five meter high space at the street side. On top of that, the bedroom opens up to the street through a bend in the ceiling. This bend allows the light of the rising sun to fall deeply into the building and enables the residents to view the sky despite the opposing buildings. The house is crowned with a roof garden. Again the bend in the uppermost ceiling has a specific function: the garden becomes an inclined landscape that eclipses the street and the surrounding property.

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    Up until recently it was rather unusual that unprofessional clients would initiate private housing projects in Dutch inner cities. For a short time the Dutch government strives to change this tendency. In 2002 the Ministry of Housing passed a bill that from 2005 onwards 30% of the new buildings in the Netherlands must be developed by private clients. The development of the former slaughterhouse area in the historical city centre of Leiden, the Netherlands oldest university town, is the most...

    Project details
    • Year 2009
    • Work finished in 2009
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence
    Lovers 89 users