urban planning design:
Department of Urban Design, Utrecht City Council
Boele & van Eesteren
building services adviser:
Boele & van Eesteren
building physics adviser:
bureau geluid Utrecht
Wedged in between Tuindorp and the three blocks of flats on the Eykmanlaan, a residential building project was developed in two phases at the location of the former Thijsse mavo school and the Gerardus Majella school. The area presents itself as a clearly recognizable neighbourhood, an enclave with its own character and identity. Continuity in appearance was an important basic principle; the plot division, the house typologies and the materialization were almost identical in both phases so the second phase was in perfect keeping with the first.
Due to the high noise level, caused by traffic on the Eykmanlaan, an uninterrupted curved wall parallel to the road was planned, which accompanies the approach road, as it were. The area lying behind it is protected from the noise, as a result. In these four levels of high wall, 35 drive-in houses are situated with the entrance and garage at the Eykmanlaan side. The living room is located on the first floor and has a balcony on the east side. Adjoining the dining room on the ground floor, the houses have a terrace facing west. To compensate for the lack of a garden, each house has a west-facing roof terrace on the second floor.
Apartment blocks have been realized at both ends of the wall. These blocks of respectively 11 apartments and 9 apartments and a maisonette, are accessed via galleries that are included in the building mass. The striking horizontal grooves represent the end of the wall. All the living areas and external spaces are situated on the west façade, sheltered from noise. At the point where the wall-ends connect to the wall, access gates have been made leading to the area behind.
In the inside area, at right angles to the water, eight short residential blocks are situated, creating transparency in the direction of the ecological zone alongside the water. These 39 three-storey houses with their front door on the street are accessed via a path on the north side. The living room is on the first floor, the dining room is situated on the ground floor and borders on the south-facing garden.
With regard to materialization, the choice was made for unity. The various house types have been implemented in the same red-brown brickwork. Prefab concrete elements and identical detailing contribute to the creation of a single neighbourhood with an entirely individual character.