Quadrant harbour housing - Rotterdam, NL

The Delfshaven area in Rotterdam is one of the very few locations where delicate fragments of historic urban tissue has been preserved. This project relates to the essence of the old heritage of this area: the scale and grain of the public space network.

Key themes

Contrasting the newer generations of surrounding building blocks, built in the 1950’s, this project provides a subtle transition between the public and private domain that is more familiar to the experience of the older parts in its context.

To create a rich tapestry of public spaces in the new plan, two proto-typical urban elements have been employed: the Community Square and the Little Street or Alley. The project location measures approx. 35 by 65 meters. Two small-scaled squares across the width and two long alleys across the length form the basis of the project. This spatial framework creates 8 small building blocks.

In each of these blocks, 4 family dwellings have been organized back to back. This means that each house is a corner house with daylight access from two sides. Every dwelling has its feet on the ground, has its own front door and is situated along both a square and an alley. The entire area is free of cars and therefore very child- and pedestrian-friendly.

For outside space, the dwellings have been provided with individual terraces. The entrances to the houses are located in the alleys. Two historical buildings have been integrated into the plan. A half-sunken parking garage is located under the plan and the squares. The dwellings have all been "draped" over the edges to ensure friendly and inhabited facades along the streets.

Project data

NameQuadrant harbour housing - Rotterdam, NL
PlaceRotterdam, The Netherlands
Area7500 m2
ClientWoonbron Housing Corporation, Rotterdam
CollaborationsMartens, Lekkerkerk Consultants: Put, Rotterdam (structure); Nieman, Utrecht (building physics)
Design collaborationsPhotography: Ruben Dario Kleimeer, Daria Scagliola
Design teamJaakko van 't Spijker, Henk Bultstra (SP), Bert Karel Deuten (SP),Gaby van den Boom, Ruud van Duuren, Ebami Tom, Gabriel Pena

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