ON THE BORDER OF URBAN AND RURAL, GRONINGEN
At the edge of wide-open countryside in the province of Groningen, on the border of urban and rural, at the entrance to the new subdivision ‘de Held’ (the hero) in Groningen, are 20 waterside homes. The plot of land between James Baldwinstraat and the pedestrian dock is tapered, and the 20 lots that have been formed there vary from wide and shallow to narrow and deep. The gated gardens run along the street while the houses sit back against the water. The position of the houses directly on the quay with the highest side facing the water forms a dramatic border for the subdivision. The facades are clad in wood and have French balconies with shutters that are reminiscent of old canal warehouses and are well suited to the location. The wooden expanse of wall and acutely angled corner are two more demarcations of the neighborhood ‘ albeit at a more individual level.
There is a single standard model with a traditional ground floor: kitchen facing the garden, and living room overlooking the water. A panorama window at the back grants a wide view of the water from the comfort of an armchair.
Front and back property lines border public space and the necessary division has been incorporated into the design. There’s a height difference on the water-side which is made up for with a brick wall and railing; a small staircase in each garden leads directly to the dock. At street-side each home has a carport and wooden fence painted in the same color. The individual entrances are marked by a column which contains the doorbell, intercom, mailbox and light.