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.
‘Housing in Leiden’ in Roomburg, Leiden, the Netherlands by SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN
April 22nd, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
In Roomburg SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN/ (www.sbarch.nl) intended to make a repetitive housing project with a larger ceiling height and a spatial section. These qualities are not often seen in this segment of the housing market. The office does research into the possibilities to create larger ceiling heights, especially in apartment buildings. The research consists of the analysis of realized projects and the development of new spatial models.
The project is part of the new residential area Roomburg in Leiden, the Netherlands. The houses are situated along the Octavialaan, which is the northern border of the subarea ‘Landscape’. This is the last stage in the development of Roomburg. The façade wall is 400 meters long and it is divided into three blocks.
The project in Roomburg contains 48 single-family houses with a floor space that varies between 158 and 175 m2. The project consists of five housing types with alternating terraces. A subtle linking of these five housing types results in a vivid façade with rhythm, relief and sculptural expression.
The cubist architecture from the twenties and thirties of Dutch architects like J.J.P. Oud, Jan Wils and J.B. van Loghem was a reference for the project. The project has a small relief in the plinth and a more expressive relief in the upper structure. The plinth and the upper structure are made in two kinds of brickwork. They are separated by a zone of windows and prefabricated concrete elements on the first floor. The façade recedes from the building line and the top floor terraces provide for extra space and light in the street.
The houses have a split-level floor on the first floor. The split-level generates a living room with a ceiling height of 3,4 meter. Also the rooms on the first floor at the street side have larger ceiling heights. The split level floor creates a spatial staircase that makes the daylight fall into the heart of the house.
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