Orange Architects: At the foot of the Roof Park in Rotterdam housing project The Hudsons has been realized. The development adds 5 building blocks with 118 single-family homes, 24 apartments and 2 commercial spaces to the Bospolder-Tussendijken district. The early 20th-century district of Bospolder-Tussendijken has been undergoing restructuring for decades. The more recent plans aim to integrate more mid- and high-income groups into a district with a culturally highly diverse population. The Hudsons contributes to this ambition with great care.
The Hudsons is located on the border of the Bospolder-Tussendijken district and the raw Merwe-Vierhavens harbour (M4H), which will be redeveloped in the coming years into an innovative living and working area. The plan is designed to harmonize with the mosaic of building volumes that are typical of the Bospolder-Tussendijken district. In the proposal, the development location was cut up into smaller entities that in scale, form and typology ensure a seamless transition to the existing building blocks, streets and squares in the neighbourhood.
‘The outer skin of the blocks is detailed in profiled brickwork that gradually becomes more open and changes colour from the neighbourhood to the park side’
Five closed building blocks, each with its own character and highly differentiated housing program, a courtyard on the first floor and a car park underneath. The courtyards all have a unique layout, with a more collective or private structure. The outer skin of the blocks is detailed in profiled brickwork that gradually becomes more open and changes colour from the neighbourhood side to the park on the other side. The blocks blend with both the red brickwork architecture of the 20th-century district and lightness of the park.
The result is a highly integrated design with plenty of routes through to the neighbouring Roof Park. The five building blocks allow a variety of apartment types to be realized side by side without having an impact on the coherence of the urban plan. The design also ensures that the green character of the Roof Park can penetrate deeply into the neighbourhood.
Sustainability is an important theme for The Hudsons and is fully integrated into the concept. The five building blocks are equipped with collective PV panels, green roofs and various nesting facilities. Since the apartments are fitted with all-electric amenities, there will be no use of fossil fuels. Several socially sustainable aspects are incorporated in The Hudsons, on various scales. At block level, all homes are organized around 5 courtyards, with private and communal gardens. These roof gardens form a familiar environment for residents, where children can play safely and neighbours get to know each other better. The car-free passages in between the blocks and the encroachment zones in front of the houses have been designed as meeting places for residents and as a play area for children from the neighbourhood.
Two commercial spaces have been designed in the most prominent places of the plan; on either side of the central axis through the neighbourhood. This is the location where the inhabitants of Bospolder-Tussendijken enter the Roof Park, to enjoy the late afternoon sun on beautiful summer evenings.