Zecc_Architecten-leidsche-rijn-centrum-social-housi.jpg

Leidsche Rijn Centrum G8

collective social housing

Together with BureauVanEig, Zecc designed a residential block with 178 social rented properties for plot G8 in Leidsche Rijn Centre, Utrecht in a project realised for the tenants of Mitros & Portaal Housing associations. Made up of six to nine layers, this urban block contains a communal courtyard designed by Flux Landscape. The great challenge of this project was to realise affordable homes that could match the lofty ambitions of Jo Coenen’s urban design plan. This proved successful thanks to a smart block structure designed around three basic floor plans, achieving a high sustainability level of BENG 1, 2 and 3 (BENG is the Dutch acronym for ‘almost energy-neutral building’).

The residential block has been designed as a characteristic urban housing block, familiar from European cities, featuring a plinth, a central section, and a roof termination. The two architects’ firms took inspiration from Italian architect Giovanni Muzio's brick architecture in Milan. Broad piers, surfaces with brick relief, a variety of masonry bonds and an unusually high plinth with repetitive elements.

The location is unique because of its prominent positioning at the start of Leidsche Rijn Centre, alongside park Leeuwesteijn, and its high-quality urban setting of Vallettastraat and Romestraat. The block’s design carefully matches this broader context. Powerful corner accents are achieved through the use of setbacks, giving the building a monumental appeal. The arch-shaped central staircase towards the courtyard garden is on the axis of Madridstraat, where the block opens up towards the city. Because the staircase appears as a stand-alone element, it branches off the main structure of the building.

A key aim of the design was to achieve a high level of social control and opportunities for social encounters. This is encouraged in various ways. The mezzanine apartments around the ground-floor level feature individual front doors facing onto the street. This ensures that the building is open on all sides, accessible and vibrant, a place where people live. Most outdoor areas have been positioned in the quieter internal courtyard section, resulting in a vibrant and socially safe setting.

Renders: Moare

location:
Leidsche Rijn Centrum
category:
Housing
m2:
19.000
client:
BAM
Team:
BAM, BureauvanEig, Flux lan...
program:
178 apartments
period:
2018 - present
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