LEVS Omloop opgeleverd3min


Renewing, densifying and greening


The Utrecht neighborhood of Ondiep is a typical working-class neighborhood from the early twentieth century: a small-scale yet integrally designed residential area, where there is a high degree of solidarity and involvement with one's own environment. Originated from a social housing ideal and built with attention to the wishes of residents. In this tradition, parts of the neighborhood are being overhauled again, through participation processes with the neighborhood and with the aim of improving the quality of life. In doing so, Berlage's main urban design remains unaltered.

Densification and greening

Along the northern curve of the tuning fork-shaped main road that surrounds the area, LEVS is designing nearly 300 homes. With this, there is considerable compaction. This includes a new vision of the place that green can and should have in such a project: nature-inclusive and biodiverse. We then ensure a human scale within the design and a clear embedding in the surrounding fabric. Like two previously realized plans of ours in the adjacent Fruitbuurt, Omloop strives for a particularly high quality of materialization with that a recognizable, cohesive area is created.

Four subareas, one vision

The area consists of four sub-areas: the Alto, the Tenor, the Soprano and the Bass. The long volumes surround the curve of Omloop on both sides, each as part of a different building block. Within the Tenor, another separate volume stands in the rear area of the inner curve, connected by the courtyard garden. Each must therefore be able to connect to its immediate neighbours. Nevertheless, we introduce a continuity that gives the bend as a whole a complete character. Height, articulation and materialization make it whole.

Animatie langs de Laan van Chartroise

The human dimension

Along the long lines of the Omloop, low urban street walls and small, low-demarcated front gardens create an intimate atmosphere. A varying composition of facade elements then creates a degree of play that can never be captured in one glance. Then more vertically and then more horizontally, the brick bands and balconies emphasize the stratification in the facade. Two colors of highly textured brick are used to accentuate this play. The facade opens up at seven places along the street with a spacious, light main entrance. The surrounding masonry naturally slopes inwards to accentuate the large glass wall within the pattern.

From tile garden to climate garden

A typical part of the original housing development here is the individual (front) garden. In the existing situation, however, few residents maintained a green garden, preferring to use tiles. To make cities more climate-adaptive, whereby heat stress and heavy rainfall can be better dealt with, as many surfaces as possible must be made greener. In Omloop it was decided to create shared green areas instead of individual courtyards. The sub-areas are divided thematically: a climate garden, an ecological garden and a food garden. Each has its own planting and organization, but always with attention to important pillars in the nature-inclusive development of inner cities. A great diversity of birds and insects is supported with food and nesting sites. Wadis, infiltration zones in the landscape, accelerate the sinking of rainwater into the soil. Walking paths and seating areas make the areas accessible to residents.

Circular design elements

We ensure the smart reuse of materials from the demolished buildings. Bricks and tiles are used as filling for the gabions that demarcate the front gardens. Sandstone facade elements from the old building return in Omloop cleaned up as side panels of the front doors on the ground floor, on which the house numbers, fixtures and doorbells will be placed. In addition, the recessed facades of the galleries on the inner area will feature Resysta cladding, a natural and circular composite material that consists of 60% rice shells and has a wood-like appearance. Facilities for climbing plants, such as wisteria, will be installed on the outside.


Space for returnees and newcomers

The neighborhood returns more diverse. Within the mixture of social and medium-priced rents, there is room for the usually older residents who return, as well as for starters, cohabitants and young families. There is still plenty of social life to take place in the open front gardens. A social life that is typical of the neighbourhood, and which is also extensively included in a participation process. Local residents and future tenants are heard in their needs. In this way, the densification and sustainability of the neighborhood is also given a very socially involved interpretation.


292 social (80%) and medium-priced rental dwellings that include 270 two- and three-room apartments, 10 duplexs and 12 single-family houses
Adriaan Mout, Jurriaan van Stigt, Marianne Loof
Marco Rats, Dennis Meijerink, Timea Sandor, Ilias Kerkeni
Deelgebied 1: 2017 – 2023; deelgebieden 2,3 en 4: 2017 –
BAM Wonen deelgebied 1 | Hillen & Roosen deelgebied 2A, 3 en 4
Landscape design
Flux landscape architecture