The proposal for a new neighbourhood of 330 new dwellings at the Pijnacker Zuid lightrail station investigates the idea of a high density garden city. The dweller has access to the services that belong to the urban scale, while living in a close knit community rooted in a green landscape. The landscape design is inspired by the history of the site, which developed from wooded wetlands to a picturesque polder with few farms before being incorporated into suburbia. Historical vegetation and water structures return in green embankments and collective courtyards.
The architects team of four different studios developed together typologies for housing and a network of collective facilities. Dwellings of different price categories are mixed throughout the blocks and connected by the sequence of collective and public outdoor spaces. A small yet significant percentage of space is reserved for communal use, such as a community library, workshop room, a bike repair shed, storages for shared garden equipment or toys.
The architecture takes inspiration from the original village of Pijnacker. Buildings of different size are united by similar materials and textures and brought together in an informal composition along the perimeter of pedestrian streets. The proposed palette of natural colours is derived from the explicit use of colour in typical farm buildings of the area. The facades share a similar language of restraint to not emphasise difference between rich and poor and create stark contrasts with the free and natural approach to the landscape design. Three tower blocks increase the density of the plan and serve as orientation points towards the public transportation hub at the lightrail station.