On the outskirts of Leidschenveen, bordering the Green Heart of Holland lies the ‘Waterland’ neighbourhood. Here, a large lake punctures a regular neighbourhood of 170 single-family homes.

The original brief called for 164 single-family dwellings to be arranged in a courtyard-style, with an inner and outer ring of dwellings and back-to-back gardens. This would have resulted in a small 10 x 20m lake and parking for 60 cars at the heart of the development.

In order to better live up to its name ‘Waterland’ SeARCH deviated from this brief. Instead, an orthogonal structure of residential streets with terraced housing was laid across the plot in strips and a large irregular shaped lake was carved out of the centre of the neighbourhood.

Here, the suburban dream of drive-up parking and a garden is preserved, while every inch that is not used for housing is given over to the water.

The simplicity of the strip-housing framework offered greater flexibility and customization for residents. There are four housing types within the neighbourhood: two types of terraced house with different widths, a front house on the street edge and a water house on the lake edge. A catalogue of additions and alternations were also designed for each housing type, ranging from a clip-on balcony to a complete extra floor, allowing residents to customize their home to their individual wishes.

Each front door also contains a photo showing the owner’s dream home, such as a castle, a canal house, or a holiday home, bringing dream and reality a little closer together in this Vinex neighbourhood.

Heijmans-Trebbe Vastgoedontwikkeling
Leidschenveen, NL
Jeroen Musch, SeARCH