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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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

The plan ‘de Biezenhof’ is part of the new residential area ‘Waterrijk Woerden’ and is situated along a natural watery region. The urban scheme of ‘Waterrijk Woerden’ was designed by West 8 and refers to the traditional Dutch water cities such as Delft and Leiden. The design is made in collabiation with Klunder architects. Almost every dwelling is individual and has a specific connection to the water.

The plan of Biezenhof is divided in two parts: there is one block of family houses around a courtyard on the edge of the lake, and there is a row of water houses and apartments along a canal.

The buyers of the houses could choose between several types of houses as well as between four architects. Due to the possibilities in combining type and architect, not one house is the same. Every house has a singular character: the lake houses have a beautiful view on the lake, the street houses have a garden, and the canal houses enclose big terraces. In the public space there are a few parking places, the majority of parking places are organised in garages.

The houses designed by Knappers are characteristic because of the huge roof overhanging the façade. This contributes to the shelter-against-the water identity of the houses, and refers to the greenhouse glass constructions in the low lands. At the street side these houses are made of brick, which gives them a closed and open (to the light and the water) individuality.

"PURE LIVING"; the winning housing concept for the ‘Klop’ location in Alphen aan den Rijn

Together with Bemog Projectontwikkeling we have developed a vision for 3rd stage of this location in Alphen aan den Rijn. The location is the final piece of the residential area of ​​Kerk en Zanen. It is located on the edge of the Green Heart, with beautiful sight lines on the polders. From the N11, the peripheral buildings will become the first sight of Alphen aan den Rijn.

A sustainable plan has been developed for this location (zero on the meter), which in terms of architecture fits seamlessly into the green environment. The 'Pure Living' concept consists of 40 terrace apartments, 20 water houses, 16 linked villas, a utility and neighborhood facility and a built-in parking facility. The peripheral buildings with the linked water houses and the two apartment buildings form the green boundary of the polder landscape of ‘het Groene Hart’. The greenery of the polder is visually extended into the buildings by giving each apartment its own (terrace) garden. The semi-detached villas are positioned in various ways and are adapted according to buyer's wishes.

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.