The Prinsenland neighbourhood in Rotterdam is characterised by its row and repetitive-block housing. The two-, four-, and five-storey office buildings on Palladiostraat are surrounded by flats. Built in 1987, these are mostly vacant and do not meet modern building standards. Investor Era Capital approached us for the design of new high-quality apartment block for the mid-market rental segment.

Green and social courtyard

To boost the quality of the neighbourhood and enhance its residential quality, a new, hybrid typology was designed. Two volumes enclose a green courtyard, a lovely semi-public area where the residents can meet each other. This courtyard is the odd man out in Prinsenland, but it is a welcome addition to the functionality of the interior space. The architecture around the courtyard is enlivened by a large number of balconies and by ground-floor flats with a private garden in the courtyard. Together, these create a distinctive social environment, that will be adopted by people and will thereby acquire significance.

Special brick

The decision to use brick underlines the character of the design, namely it is different from the rest. Furthermore, the details and texture of the bricks make the building tactile and inviting. By using a special white-grey brick that derives its colour from the addition of marl in the firing process, the facades gain extra stratification. Carefully chosen masonry details also give meaning to the hybrid typology of the building, namely a more abstract detail on the external side of the ensemble versus a classic detail in the communal inner garden.

Collective and individual

The appearance of the new building is in line with all aspects of its typology. The facades on the neighbourhood and street side are divided building by building as an appropriate answer for that space, while the facades on the courtyard have equally distributed windows and balconies. Furthermore, each apartment has its own outdoor area, from winter gardens, bay windows and greenhouses to enclosed and open balconies. The form is dependent on the residential level, and ranges from more enclosed at street level to open on the top floor.

  • commission: new-build apartment complex in the middle private rental sector
  • location: Palladiostraat Rotterdam
  • client: Era Capital
  • structural engineer: Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs
  • acoustics and building consultant: DGMR
  • fire safety consultant: DGMR
  • building services consultant: J. van Toorenburg B.V.
  • program: 96 apartments from 45 to 85 m² and courtyard
  • floor area: 8.500 m²
  • design: 2019
  • completion: 2023
  • particularities: outstanding social environment