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Pleinen in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands by Hans Van Der Heijden

A low-budget project mixes semi-detached houses for first-time buyers with terraced dwellings for social rent

Read the Housing Estate typology here

This low-budget project in Hoofddorp, on the outskirts of Amsterdam, comprises 24 semi-detached houses for first-time buyers and 40 terraced dwellings for social rent. The two parts of the estate are spatially segregated, which is not ideal, but they are formally united by the architect’s sophisticated abstraction of vernacular domestic tradition.

The pitched roofs are penetrated by elongated dormers creating an impressive serial effect, especially along the facades of the terraces. This combination of traditionalism and Modernism brings out the potential for abstraction lurking in the former and the cosiness sometimes felt to be lacking in the latter: what Benjamin would call a ‘dialectical image’ harking back to the workers’ houses designed by Heinrich Tessenow in the 1910s and ’20s.

Drawings - Click to expand

Drawings - Click to expand

Drawings - Click to expand

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