‘The Fish’ sub-plan is part of the Leidschenveen VINEX location.1 The original request was to develop a building plan on an already existing layer for the site subdivision, which consisted of a number of double houses and a number of semidetached residences. The name of the plan, ‘the Fish’, came from the form of the acoustic landscape, which defined the contour of the location. In collaboration with the architectural firm Loof en van Stigt, we first designed a new urban layout that took in the entire plan area and did honour to the name ‘the Fish’. The overall scheme of this plan consists of a double row of linked, stepped residences that encompasses the entire contour of the plan area. The outside border is heavily stony and dark, while the inside border has a more open, light and shiny character, and the entire interior of the plan area, the public space, is completely filled with water. Our firm drew up the building plans for the entire ring around the pond.
The water’s edge is formed by a series of joined town houses with single-pitched roofs, interrupted now and then by garages. The direction of the roofs ensues from the orientation of the sun. Where the water line is curved, the facing façades are high; the roof pitch is directly perpendicular and sinks, literally with roofing tiles and all, gradually into the garden. The direction of the roofs where the water line is straight is turned 90 degrees, so that the sun reaches the gardens earlier through the ridges. The sidewalls, covered with silver weatherboarded steel sheeting (the scales), form a continuous line around the water. The residences find their individual expression primarily in the facing façades, constructed from vertical Scandinavian boarding in various powdered shades of grey. White wooden bay windows on both sides join all of these coloured façades together. The Crescent, the curved block at the head of the pond, with its heavy, black brick volume, contrasts with the light, shining walls of water and forms, together with the two brick ‘bookends’, a transition to the adjoining green park and the heavy outside edge.
[A] Sjoerd Soeters
[P] 137 residences & offices
[C] Bouwfonds Woningbouw & Wilma BV