Tussendijken Starter Homes







Design Team:

Public commission

70 live/work units, commercial, open space

City of Rotterdam

Rotterdam, the Netherlands



Jennifer Wichtowski

The Tussendijken neighborhood is currently known for being one of the more culturally diverse, economically underprivileged, and dangerous neighborhoods in the city of Rotterdam.  This cultural diversity, however, also provides the neighborhood with a richness and sense of community not seen in other parts of the city.  The area under consideration is home to the neighborhood's biweekly market, but this space is virtually unused the remainder of the week.  The area is plagued by introverted housing blocks, inflexible, and under utilized public spaces, and poor quality commercial zones.  The urban plan for the larger area seeks to ameliorate some of these over arching issues by relocating the market to a more manageable space, programming the open space, creating a variety of housing types, and revitalizing the commercial corridor.

The housing block seeks to create individuality by defining each housing unit.  This individuality is expressed both on the facade of the building as well as in the corridors, as the entrances are offset to make each unique.  Various types of dwellings - from studios to live/work lofts - are included, making the building accessible to various income levels and family sizes.  Community spaces and commercial zones contribute to the overall urban plan.