The Housing Festival in the Hague, on a master plan designed by OMA, involved construction on a narrow strip of roughly forty metres wide on one side of the Morgenstond housing estate. The urban design concept revolved around transparency: buildings, designed by different architects, were to be arranged as separate volumes with glimpses of greenery visible between them. Our design was for a very compact, blunt ‘tower’ as prescribed by the master plan. In fact it is not so much a tower as a solid piece of sculpture which somehow suggests a pigeon with ruffled feathers.
The building has a semi-submerged basement containing storage compartments, above which there are nine floors with four apartments each. The two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments are accessed via a central vestibule which contains the lifts and escape stairs. Every apartment as a living room at one outer corner of the building, thus enjoying a view in two directions. Steel balconies supported on struts are mounted on the corners. These feathery balconies give the building something birdlike but a little clumsy – the paradoxical charm of a young pigeon which has not yet taken its first flight.