LEVS Kroon impressie2a min


Reinterpretation of historical village


Anyone cycling along the Korte Brugstraat in Etten-Leur will recognize the characteristics of a typical old village road: small-scale buildings with varied roof shapes and stately facades. And also: meeting places, such as a church with a square, a supermarket, shops and a school. We were inspired by the possibility of connecting this expansion site on Van 't Hoffstraat more closely with the village road and its social and stately qualities.

Activating social intersections

First of all, we will create a recognizable urban space that will become part of the meeting places that already lie along the old village road. Two elongated apartment buildings embrace a central square next to the street. This may soon become a relaxed public green space, with an ever-changing character. For example, a neighborhood garden, a fitness garden, a picking garden and green transition areas. The definitive interpretation of the park follows from a participation process with residents. Several informal walking routes run through it. We use these to activate places in and around the buildings and gardens as social crossroads.

Big blocks, small scale

Using the informal routes as a design tool, we create two self-evident passages in the elongated blocks. This cuts the blocks, as it were, into smaller masses that fit into the finer urban scale of the environment without losing their cohesion. In the passages we place the main entrances of the blocks. This shortens the walking distance to the front doors of apartments.

Range of residential plans

The bend in the eastern block and the subtly recessed head of the western block create an interesting range of apartment types and layouts. On the street, green zones separate the individual outdoor spaces and provide privacy and a soft transition zone to the public space. Above it hang spacious balconies with a view of the greenery and life in the neighbourhood. After all, a good outdoor space is a precondition for a nice apartment.

Form-interpretation of the village

The crown-shaped roof refers to the small-scale buildings on the ribbon with its different roof shapes. The free-form interpretation provides an inventive contemporary expression. The whole has a friendly appearance that ensures that the more spacious layout of the blocks fits into this place. A vertical ridge in the orange-red brickwork provides extra depth, plasticity and richness in the facade. The ridge reinforces the small grain of the plan and loosely refers to pledging without doing so literally. Shading will keep the facade looking different throughout the day.