Architects: SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN/ – Leen Borst, Mark Snitker
Location: Leiden, The Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Leiden
Design team: Andrea Alvarez, Milos Dimitrijevic, Janfrans van der Eerden, Brigitte Kwa, Rudy Davi, Zsuzsanna Nagy
Contractor: Du Prie Bouw en Ontwikkeling
Structural engineer: Pieters bouwtechniek Haarlem
Project year: 2007 – 2009
Photographs: Roos Aldershoff, Dennis Sies
In Roomburg SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN/ 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.