Courts De Grienden

Low-rise houses at the car-free axis of a new settlement in Puttershoek

 

In a period of 11 years, HvdH designed 170 dwellings and a medical centre in the village extension De Grienden. The dwellings form the public space in the axis of the urban scheme: a sequence of two courts on either side of a square which stretches into a neighbourhood park.

The buildings have been constructed in four phases and within six different commissions. In all stages of the project, the simple tectonic choice for prefabricated concrete lintels and gutters and contrasting brickwork shells provide consistency between the different parts of the scheme.

The row houses along the court have a continuous zigzagging concrete lintel which separates the roof from the fa├žade. Brick garden walls are built perpendicularly to the buildings. These figures provide a rhythm to the courts. At the corners of the rows special houses have been added.

Prof. Tony Fretton wrote in De Architect: ‘The projecting concrete cornice in the facades of the terraced houses draws the parents bedroom on the first floor into an association with the shared spaces in the ground floor, and the French window in this bedroom provides an active and reciprocal relationship with the public space of the street. The roof falls back from the cornice and is blind to the street, and portrays the children’s room and loft space as a kind of dream space in the sky.’