Singels

The project was part of one of the first projects in the Vinex programme [housing programme supplying 600,000 new build dwellings], Singels 2 in Ypenburg, and it involved the realisation of 122 terraced houses within the social sector. Standardisation and repetition kept construction costs low. The design makes use of the architectural imagery of workers houses of the beginning of the 20th century, such as the Delft Westerkwartier.

The streets of the scheme are narrow and it was the first project in which HvdH used the architectural theme of the pitched roof. The low gutter line responds to the street width and turns the roof into a major part of the composition. Brick dormers provide the street with a longitudinal rhythm and visually interlock the roof and façade. The façades appear as solid brick masses of orange sintered brickwork. Both the roof and the plinth contrast with the roughness of the facades. The roof is clad with Eternit slates and sits as a fine membrane on the robust brick mass. The plinths are made of polished black concrete.

The terraces are intersected by communal storage blocks. Upon these blocks additional bedrooms are provided for the adjoining houses. The dwelling layout is a semi open plan with a cross stair in the centre. Almost all living spaces possess a three-dimensional spatial quality; the stair is open to the living room and the roof is present in the bedrooms and attic. The kitchen is large enough to accommodate seating or a dining area at the street side. The windows here are large with cill heights almost at knee level, offering views onto the street. The bedrooms have vertical windows allowing direct views onto the back yards and the street.

HvdH received the people’s award of the ‘Nederland Onder Dak’ event for this project. The project has been extensively published in such magazines as Archis, De Architect and a+t.

Client: Vidomes, Zoetermeer, 1995-1999