The 1994 Ypenburg Masterplan, an expansion area for approx. 11,000 houses on the site of a former military airfield, was commissioned by the Ypenburg Joint Venture. The plan has two components.
On the one hand a framework of public spaces and routes and, on the other, fields, which in the course of time have been developed by a selection of designers and developers into residential and business areas. It is this framework that was elaborated in detail by our practice (Palmboom & van den Bout, ed. note).
It has not been geared to the size of the adjacent residential neighbourhoods, rather given its own scale and architectural dimension.
The large dimensions of the framework are accompanied by simple, plain detailing. The design is to be considered an exercise in restraint.
Waterwijk, part of the Ypenburg residential estate, enjoys a special position surrounded by water. The project highlights the location by organising the residential area like an archipelago, the dwelling units grouped into islands.
The question was how to realise this concept using today’s technologies. Following sound urban development tradition, the archipelago plan embraced as many interpretations of the ‘island’ as could be found. The result was a paradoxical axiom: by increasing the differences between the islands, you increase the spatial consistency of each island. Diversification started by introducing a wide variety of housing types for each island group: houses with a front yard, garden, inner court, apartment buildings or single family homes in wood. Further differentiation came with different outdoor options for the green areas, lighting, environment protection measures, materials and colours for paving, façades and roofs.
This new residential area, comprising 48 patio style dwelling units (h 4.5 m), is confined to just one island. A...
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