Conforming with the master plan by KCAP from May 2004 this scheme is built up around 4 courtyards. Every courtyard is bordered on 3 sides but open to the south side where it relates to the adjoining neighborhoods. On the north side, along the Melis Stokelaan, the apartment blocks form a rather solid façade, intersected by ‘windows’ that enable public access to the courtyards. By applying a non lineal changing in the character of the courtyards of private/public, hard/soft, front/back each courtyard is essentially different. This is strenghtened through the variation of the building heights of the blocks around each courtyard which implies in the end a variable urban image to the Melis Stokelaan.
The scheme consists of 211 dwellings, where 65 are single family housing and 146 are apartments. The whole ground floor along the Melis Stokelaan and the ground floor of the most eastern block are dedicated to commercial functions. The entrances of the single family housing are located in the courtyards and in the Zwaardvegersgaarde.
The car park for the eastern block is in the deepened landscaped courtyard whereas the car park of the twoo western blocks are partly lowered and covered by publicly accesible wooden decks. In total there are 141 parking spots in the project. The bycicle parking and container spaces are located either in the ground floor or in the car park level, next to the common entrance halls.
To compensate the above mentioned density much attention has been spent on the façade treatment. For that purpose Henri Jacobs from Brussels has designed a 270m long sequence of 7 different brickwork patterns for the North façade along the Melis Stokelaan. The design has been inspired by the geometry of classical gardens which refers to the historical land use of this part of The Hague. Parts of the pattern is copied to the south facades. Between these two longitudinal facades Demakersvan have placed along the highest building slabs two mesh fences of 60x18m. Big floral ornaments gradually infiltrate a standard, industrial mesh. By spanning from floor to ceiling along the galleries these corridors not only loose their usually unattractive functional character but also provide the actual security against falling down.
Description by architects