Starter homes Kanaalpark, Leiden

The Kanaalpark is an office area along the Vliet on the south side of Leiden. Here, two apartment buildings are being built for starters.

Many offices in this area have long been vacant and the area looks messy and dated. The municipality of Leiden has challenged developers to take the initiative to transform the site into a high-quality living-work area. That glove is being picked up. Some offices are being converted into apartments, others are being demolished and replaced by residential buildings. Viable office owners are making a quality improvement. The municipality has drawn up an ambitious plan for the redesign of the public space.

Commissioned by the Leidse Vastgoed Maatschappij we have designed two apartment buildings for starters on the labor market. Block 1 with 88 apartments is being built on the site of an old office building. Block 2 with 41 apartments will be built on an existing parking lot. The buildings have been carefully integrated into the urban design and complete the structure of closed building blocks. Height accents are determined in conjunction with the environment. The blocks are architecturally parceled, in line with the already completed housing construction.

Architects Gerrit-Jan van Rijswijk, Krijn Tabbers
Client(s) Leidse Vastgoed Maatschappij
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Cruquius Plaza, near Hoofddorp, municipality of Haarlemmermeer is the result of a competition that was organized in 1999 on behalf of the municipality of Haarlemmermeer to boost shopping in Cruquius. The competition was won by ING Vastgoed and VVKH. The existing residential boulevard has been completely renovated and adapted to the requirements of today. In addition, 30,000 m2 of retail space and 25,000 m2 of industrial space have been added. A flexible building, particularly with regard to the shops, and a water feature with a square at the shop entrances have been realized at the location. The cantilevered awning offers provides shelter for a pleasant shopping climate. The supply takes place from two expedition entrances on the company side. Via the internally located expedition corridors on the ground floor and first floor, the shops can be supplied freely from the shoppers. The 30-meter-high Cruquius Tower, the luminous center of the square, is a clear landmark of the residential boulevard.

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.

The urban plan for the city-centre of Zeist provides for necessary architectural interventions, but is mainly concerned with the quality of public space. Identified characteristics of Zeist have been projected on the city centre. By doing this the centre will be much greener and facades will be restored to what they used to look like. The urban plan defines three different shoppingzones, each with their own atmosphere and type of shops. By banning cars a continuous and compact shopping area with pleasant pedestrian streets emerges.
A big part of the urban plan is the redevelopment of the library. VVKH aims to reuse the building as much as possible. The building is less than 30 years old and apart from the closed facades it functions well. In the new design we make shoppingfacades on the ground floor, moving the library to a new part of the building. On top we planned 58 apartments with a shared garden. Reuse of the existing building may demand an extra effort, but offers a very sustainable sollution and saves on investments.

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