The principle behind the design of the Carré in the centre-east district of Leidsche Rijn is to create an urban atmosphere with ground-access family homes. Perimeter blocks of three to four floors feature a few highlights at strategic points. The blocks overlook the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, the stately Sophialaan and Leeuwenstein Park.
Architecture: Unity in diversity
The architecture is diverse yet cohesive because all buildings have a traditional 4.5-metre-high plinth and similar tectonics, plasticity and articulation. DOK and MR A&U are working together on the design of the varied ensembles in styles that enhance one another. The blocks are composed of individually recognizable buildings placed ‘shoulder to shoulder’ along the building line, either as single structures or in groups of two or three. Balconies, loggias and bay windows are part of the architecture and contribute to the varied appearance. The buildings are crowned with setbacks and various roof shapes. Some facades feature curved flowerbeds above the entrances. The sawtooth facade facing the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal creates space for front gardens with a tree positioned here and there. The hard building line steps forward in places, allowing a small forecourt with a tree to add some variety.
The houses consist of various typologies such as live-work units, split-level units, and wide and shallow loft-like units. All dwellings contain a 4.5-metre-tall flexible ground floor with a striking double-height entrance and offer the possibility of including a workspace within the home.
Parking places and shared bike sheds are located on site in the form of a half-sunken garage within the block, the roof of which forms a deck with gardens, creating an interesting split-level housing typology. The rear entrances to the homes are also located in the half-sunken garage.
All buildings are finished in various shades of yellow-brown and red-brown brickwork in a number of formats, hues and bonds, with a tall plinth of natural stone uniting the entire composition. A feature of the facades is the tall and sturdy plinth, composed mostly of natural stone and richly detailed brickwork tile pictures (brickwork rosettes), resulting in a serene yet varied appearance. Composition, articulation, rhythm and tectonics play an important role.