Designing a house without the floor plan feels somehow strange and a little unsatisfactory. But it is precisely this incomplete design question and the dilemma of how to realize a neighbourhood worthy of the name ‘Nieuw Kralingen’ within the current construction economy, which challenged us as architects to go all the way.
If in 5, 50 or even 100 years, residents and visitors of ‘Nieuw Kralingen’ see the joy of design in all the parts that make up a facade, then this mission has been accomplished.
A very important quality of ‘Nieuw Kralingen’ lies outside the facade. It is the green on both the back and the front of the house. Sometimes a garden, sometimes an avenue, sometimes a pond. This green forms a connecting quality. The facades of the houses reinforce this by the scale of the clusters (a number of houses form a unit) and the subtle repetition of design themes. The greenery and the facades work together to complete the neighbourhood.
Building developers ERA Contour and Heijmans developed the serial floor plans together with INBO. An extra high ground floor, beautifully detailed stairs and a nice relationship with the outdoor space at the front and back of the house can be found in all house types.
Just as ‘Kralingen’ shows its beauty through a rich mix of traditional detailing of architectural elements, ‘Nieuw Kralingen’ will form a contemporary interpretation of this. Form follows factory, we make optimal use of prefabrication and repetition of elements. Subtle variations and mixing the elements create a special layered facade image that acts as a visual distraction. In slang Rotterdam language: it looks chic without any hassle.
If you walk through ‘Kralingen’ and you look at the windows in the facades, you may recognize more than a hundred lintel solutions. They all do the same thing, yet look different. For ‘Nieuw Kralingen’ we have added a new member to this family: ‘The Arc of Kralingen’. Completely eclectic and applicable in many variations, this morphology ensures that we do not fall into the retro trap, but enrich the existing palette.
- commission: 800 houses
- location: Nieuw Kralingen, Rotterdam
- client: Heijmans en ERA Contour
- collaborating architects: Architectuur Maken, Braaksma & Roos architectenbureau, Inbo, West 8
- urban planner: West 8
- design: 2021
- execution: from 2022