FAMILIES LIVING IN A BALANCE BETWEEN RENOVATED AND NEW BUILD HOUSES
Most of the houses in Crooswijk were replaced. This was unavoidable, as the original houses were entirely substandard. Improving housing quality was the main reason for opting for demolition.
However, some of the houses were retained. “Put simply, those houses were of far better quality than those which were scheduled for demolition”, explains Ahaloui – project developer at Heijmans Vastgoed. The houses have been visually upgraded and a better infrastructure has been created, so that they can be rented out in the coming years.
URBAN DEVELOPMENT AIMS
Something also had to change in the design of the neighbourhood. “It was a very introverted area, although it had many fantastic quality features”, says Van Zomeren – director of development at ERA Contour. “For example, there are many beautiful avenues, but you didn’t experience these when you arrived in the neighbourhood. The roads were largely paved, green space was lacking, and cars were everywhere. So, you see, there was great interest in changing the urban development structure, in order to experience the positive features of the neighbourhood”, says Van Zomeren.
The aim of the development was therefore very clear. “We had to develop a housing-for-life neighbourhood with highly differentiated houses”, says Van Zomeren. “A neighbourhood for families and those on the first rung of the property ladder.” In order to preserve the city of Rotterdam in the long term, it must be ensured that families can also settle within the Rotterdam ring. Nieuw Crooswijk lies within the popular inner city area but is also near the Rotte River and within walking distance of the Kralingse Plas, a leisure area, making it an ideal location for family homes.
A NOD TO THE ORIGINAL ARCHITECTURE
One of the development requirements, imposed upon the neighbourhood, was the brick architecture. Ahaloui explains: “Crooswijk was a pre-war neighbourhood characterised by its special brick architecture. Each house and flat is clearly identifiable by its special details, bay windows, special ball- shaped bricks and varied brickwork. These features were specified in the image quality plan right at the start.”
In order to create more private areas within the neighbourhood, closed blocks of houses were used, such as the ones of- ten seen in 19th century developments. “These create a lovely division between the exterior and the extremely pleasant, tranquil interior where children can play in a safe environment. We also managed to resolve many of the parking needs within the blocks of houses, thus freeing up the roads”, says Van Zomeren. The appearance of the street was recreated with trees and public squares, creating a rich and vibrant streetscape.
Project nameNieuw Crooswijk, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
ArchitectBrink architectuur, JSA Architecten, De Zwarte Hond, Geurst & Schulze architects, NL architects, Drost + van Veen
ClientNieuw Crooswijk Development Group (OCNC), a collaboration between Heijmans Vastgoed and ERA Contour
Terca Valencia hand-moulded ,Terca Bologna hand-moulded ,Both including custom made ballshaped bricks in the same colour
Year of completionin progress, to be completed 2018