6 apartments in monumental building Plantsoen 1 - 3 Leiden

The Plantsoen in Leiden is well known for the historical appearance of both the city park (1836) and the houses of the last quarter of the 19th century. The park was originally landscaped on the edge of the city in the place of an old defense belt. At the entrance of the park at the east side the monumental building Plantsoen 1 – 3 is redeveloped in a complex with 6 apartments. The apartments of about 150 m² are provided with all luxury and comfort, such as a private indoor garage, spacious roof terraces and an elevator, while retaining the historical look and value of the building. Redevelopment also applies to sustainability; obtaining Energy label A. Exterior facades, window frames and roof are additionally insulated. The houses are underfloor heated and solar panels are provided on the roof.

The municipal monument at Plantsoen 1 – 3 is divided over three floors and a basement.  The property at number 1 was originally a fully detached house, number 3 was part of a block of 3 houses. Both buildings date from 1875 and were connected in 1957 and converted into one large nursing home. In this function change, the original qualities have largely been lost. The round expansion at number 1 dates from 1993.

In the new layout with 6 apartment, the monuments are restored to their former glory by restoration contractor Burgy from Leiden. The façade of the intermediate building is renewed and aligned with the monuments. The existing façade of the round building is finished with a bronze wall cladding, a ‘veil‘ with a leaf motif. This pattern is inspired by the leaf motifs and decorations of the 19th century, which can still be found in various places along the Plantsoen. The round with ‘veil’ becomes a special recognition point in the inner city.

Each apartment has both rooms in the monumental area as well as in the newer parts. The interior of the monumental buildings is provided with appropriate details to bring back the historical character as much as possible. This specific part is provided by Verlaan & Bouwstra architects from Vianen.

On the inside buyers have a lot of freedom of choice; they can choose for an even richer historical finish with wall tension, panelling and en-suite layout or a tight, modern finish and layout; both are possible. Each apartment is unique, has its own layout and its own character. Only the view is the same for all apartments; they all look out over the beautiful monumental city park the Plantsoen at the town canal.

The redevelopment was completed in July 2018.

aerial view by contractor

Architects Ronald Knappers
Employees Krijn Tabbers
Client(s) restoration contractor Burgy, Leiden
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For the Hoge Rijndijk location in Zoeterwoude, a new construction plan has been developed for an apartment building with starter homes, after demolition of the existing office building. The building stands on the edge of the large-scale buildings that are currently being built between the Oude Rijn and the Hoge Rijndijk, and the existing residential area from the 1980s. It adjacents to a small park on the east side. The new building has been placed in the building line of the Rijndijk and thus strengthens the profile of the road. The parking spaces are located in the rear area, lined by green. By dividing the building mass in three, a smaller scale is created, which is further reinforced with differences in brickwork and roof shape. The building will contain 34 residential units of approximately 50 m2 and a bicycle storage. An extremely energy-efficient and sustainable design is achieved with individual heat pumps and solar panels on the roof.

The permit application is being processed, implementation is expected in 2021.

Villa Meijendel takes its name from the nature reserve in which it is located, where a forest meets a valley of dunes. The house is constructed from concrete and set into the side of a sandy slope. The building's design aims to create a dialogue with its surroundings, both through the way the form and materials engage with the landscape, and through the use of glass to provide views out from and into the house. 

The boxy geometric structure is entirely clad in charred timber, creating a textured black surface that appears different depending on how sunlight falls on it. The exterior finish, inspired by the ancient Japanese shou sugi ban technique, also helps to preserve the wood. Sometimes the house is almost invisible against the dark edge of the forest, sometimes it sparkles in the sunlight because of the glittering charred wood, as such forming a background for the play of shadows of tree trunks and branches. The villa hides and reveals itself in the landscape.

The property has its entrance on a middle level accommodating an office and two bedrooms. Stairs ascend to an open-plan kitchen and living space, and drop down to a master bedroom and gym room.

The living room features a full-height corner window that looks out through the trees towards the dune valley. A lower window facing to the rear and a large glazed surface lining the adjacent double-height circulation area face out onto the forest. At the far end of the first floor, sliding glass doors lead out from the kitchen onto a terrace.

The material palette –concrete, steel and anodised aluminium– was chosen to complement the tones and textures of the surrounding environment. Each material is applied in a raw, untreated form. Internally, the walls are finished with smooth concrete, while the rough-sawn Douglas fir beams supporting the ceilings feature a distinctive grain.

West 8, Adriaan Geuze, is responsible for the garden design.

Photography is by Christian van der Kooy

In cooperation with Smits bouwbedrijf, VVKH has won the european tender to develop a new housingarea in district Dieperhout in Leiden. The project consists of 48 dwellings, 12 apartments and a care facility of 1500m². Start of the constructionwork is planned in may 2015, because thats when a current school will move to a new building and the site will be available.

The plot Oeverpolder is located in the central part of the Hoornespolder, a 1960s reconstruction area. In recent years, this district has undergone a transformation, where living is more focused on the public space and a clearer separation is made between public and private.

In the design for the new-build location, a U-shaped courtyard building was chosen, which in terms of architecture and grain size connects to the existing buildings. The green structure of the neighborhood is reinforced with the design. The transition between the residential building and the public space has been carefully designed. There are no garages, storage rooms and blind facades in the public space. The U-shaped building contains a total of 52 apartments of 53-88 m2. The building on Hoorneslaan has 4 storeys, the other two sides are 3 storeys high. The houses are all accessible via (widened) galleries in the courtyard, parking is partly in the courtyard and partly on public land, on the street.

The masonry architecture is in line with previous transformations on Hoorneslaan, but also fits in well with the existing modern reconstruction architecture of, for example, the adjacent Pniëlkerk. Due to the sloping boundary of the plot on Hoorneslaan, the building block has been given characteristic staggered façades here. It is an all-round designed building that at the same time has a new and unique character, but also fits well in the neighborhood.