Rotterdam’s Prinsenland district is characterized by an urban layout of row and repetitive-block housing. On Palladiostraat, in the midst of apartment buildings, stand several two-, four- and five-storey office buildings. These largely empty 1987 buildings no longer comply with contemporary quality standards. Investor Era Capital approached us to design a new, high-spec apartment complex aimed at the middle rental sector.
Green and social courtyard
To enhance the neighbourhood and increase its residential amenity, V8 Architects designed a new, hybrid typology. Two volumes enclose a green courtyard, a fine semi-public space where residents can socialize. This courtyard is an oddity in Prinsenland, but a welcome addition to the functionality of the outdoor space. The architecture around the courtyard is enlivened by a large number of balconies and by ground-accessed apartments with their own gardens in the courtyard. Together this generates an outstanding social environment. An environment that will be embraced by people and thereby acquire significance.
The appearance of the new building is wholly in keeping with its typology. The elevations facing the neighbourhood and the street are vertically subdivided in an echo of row housing, an appropriate response for that context, while the courtyard elevations have a uniform division of windows and balconies. Every dwelling in Palladio has its own outdoor space, from winter gardens, bay windows and conservatories to enclosed and open balconies. The form depends on the level, from more enclosed at street level to open on the topmost level.
The decision to use brick underscores the essential quality of the design: it is different from the rest. Moreover, the detail and texture of brick lend the building tactility and make it more inviting. The use of a special greyish-white brick, which owes its colour to the addition of marl (limestone) in the firing process, gives Palladio an extra layeredness. Carefully chosen brickwork details also imbue the building’s hybrid typology with meaning: namely, a more abstract detailing on the exterior of the ensemble versus a more classical detailing in the shared courtyard garden.
commission: new-build apartment complex in the middle private rental sector | location: Palladiostraat Rotterdam | client: Era Capital | structural engineer: Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs | acoustics and building consultant: DGMR | fire safety consultant: DGMR | building services consultant: J. van Toorenburg B.V. | program: 96 apartments from 45 to 85 m² and courtyard | floor area: 8.480 m² | design: 2019 | completion: 2021 | particularities: outstanding social environment