This old public housing now enjoys a green, pedestrian-friendly renovation to reconnect and revitalize historic harbor district

At the foot of the Roof Park in Rotterdam, Netherlands, a major green public housing renovation project has been completed.

The Hudsons redevelopment adds 5 building blocks with 118 single-family homes, 24 apartments, and 2 commercial spaces to help revitalize the Bospolder-Tussendijken district.

The early 20th-century district of Bospolder-Tussendijken has been undergoing restructuring for decades.

The more recent plans aim to integrate more mid and high-income groups into a district with a culturally highly diverse population.

The Hudsons contributes to this ambition with great care.

Here’s what the designers at Orange Architects say about their project:

The Hudsons is located on the border of the Bospolder-Tussendijken district and the raw Merwe-Vierhavens harbor (M4H), which will also be redeveloped in the coming years into an innovative living and working area.

The plan is designed to harmonize with the mosaic of building volumes that are typical of the Bospolder-Tussendijken district.

In the proposal, the redevelopment location was cut up into smaller entities that in scale, form, and typology ensure a seamless transition to the existing building blocks, streets, and squares in the neighborhood.

The outer skin of the blocks is detailed in profiled brickwork that gradually becomes more open and changes color from the neighborhood to the park side.

Five closed building blocks, each with its own character and highly differentiated housing program, a courtyard on the first floor, and a car park underneath.

The courtyards all have a unique layout, with a more collective or private structure. The outer skin of the blocks is detailed in profiled brickwork that gradually becomes more open and changes color from the neighborhood side to the park on the other side.

The blocks blend with both the red brickwork architecture of the 20th-century district and the lightness of the park.

The result is a highly integrated design with plenty of routes through to the neighboring Roof Park.

The five building blocks allow a variety of apartment types to be realized side by side without having an impact on the coherence of the urban plan.

The design also ensures that the green character of Roof Park can penetrate deeply into the neighborhood.

Sustainability is an important theme for The Hudsons and is fully integrated into the concept. The five building blocks are equipped with collective PV panels, green roofs, and various nesting facilities. Since the apartments are fitted with all-electric amenities, there will be no use of fossil fuels.

Several socially sustainable aspects are incorporated in The Hudsons, on various scales. At the block level, all homes are organized around 5 courtyards, with private and communal gardens.

These roof gardens form a familiar environment for residents, where children can play safely and neighbors get to know each other better.

The car-free passages in between the blocks and the encroachment zones in front of the houses have been designed as meeting places for residents and as a play areas for children from the neighborhood.

Two commercial spaces have been designed in the most prominent places of the plan; on either side of the central axis through the neighborhood.

This is the location where the inhabitants of Bospolder-Tussendijken enter the Roof Park, to enjoy the late afternoon sun on beautiful summer evenings.

All photographs are by Sebastian van Damme and Sander van Wettum.

See Orange Architects website.

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