Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Social Housing Sandtlaan – Urban Restructuring in Katwijk, The Netherlands by HVE architecten
May 28th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
HVE Architecten has designed a bright, sand-coloured housing project with a diverse program, that blends in and complements its surroundings with a certain ease and lightness. Filtered by the old trees next to the avenue Sandtlaan the light finds its way to the austere brick, glass and metal façades. Through façade composition and choice of materials the project has both a strong sense of solidity and lightness and playfulness.
The quality of the craftsmanship and the experience value for the residents played a key role throughout the design process. This is reflected in the richness of materials used in the design of the façade and public interior spaces. A special element, for example, is the entrance hall and main stairwell of the apartment building, where colour and spatial diversity transform a purely functional space into an exceptional experience.
The previous apartment buildings along the Sandtlaan did no longer meet the standards of modern living. Therefore HVE architects along with Dunavie housing developed a new plan in which a more differentiated housing program could be realized, with more houses for starters and young families. The planned program is comprised of apartments for returning (senior) residents of the demolished buildings on the site, an accommodation for a sheltered living project for young people, and several single-family dwellings with and without incorporated working space for starters on the housing market.
The single-family dwellings are grouped in two clusters. Each cluster consists of four dwellings of two floors and four dwellings of three floors with room for office space. These clusters are situated on the footprint of the former apartment buildings in order to maintain the existing views from the adjacent houses. The apartment block can be seen as the backing of the lower clusters and functions as an point of entrance to the neighbourhood. The ground and fifth floor have apartments for senior citizens. The living units for the sheltered living project are grouped together on the second and third floor, with a collective living area on the third floor.
The supporting structure and installation of the building has been organized in such away that the units of sheltered living can be converted into standard residential apartments and vice versa. Consequently the building can be internally transformed to accommodate different programs depending on future developments in Katwijk. The architectural quality of the project Sandtlaan emphasizes the objective of Dunavie to create a positive impulse in this area and introduce new types of housing in Katwijk.
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