Casanova+Hernandez architects | U020_Pompenburg Urban Study


U020_Pompenburg Urban Study

Rotterdam, Netherlands

The goal of the study and the location

The Municipality of Rotterdam is trying to densify the city by promoting urban interventions which main target group are families with children. At the moment this process goes quite slow because in the Dutch society the ‘Dutch dream’ is still to live in the outskirts of the cities in houses two or three stories high, with private gardens. Every year, two families start living in the centre of Rotterdam but three families leave it in order to live in green areas around the city.

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The main aim of this study is to make research about the possible new housing typologies that can attract families with children to live in the centre of the city.

The study location is one of the numerous urban voids or “terrain vague” that still exist in the city centre as a result of the intervention that put underground some of the rail tracks near the Central Station.


First of all a research is made over the “Dream house“ and the “Dream outdoor space” of the standard Dutch buyer, which varies according to factors such as profession, size of the family, income, and what we call “personal level of urbanity“, that measures the psychological belonging of the individual to the city.

After this careful analysis, we have chosen the most interesting elements on different scales and defined with them a 3D matrix that relates three different variables: housing, private open spaces and collective and public open spaces.

On one hand the different “dream houses” selected (penthouse, loft, duplex, villa and living-and-working) are mixed with the “dream private open spaces” selected (patio, serre, loggia, garden and playground). The result is a group of five housing typologies: H1: Living-Working-Playing / H2: Garden–Villa / H3: Loggia–Duplex / 4: Serre–Loft / H5: Patio–Penthouse.

On the other hand five types of collective open spaces have been generated mixing open spaces with different degree of accessibility, from the most public open space that is accessible to all city dwellers, to more collective ones shared by few neighbours in the block. These five collective open spaces are: O1: Park / O2: Collective Garden / O3: Collective Atrium / O4: Collective Loggia / O5: Collective serre.

Finally, the five housing typologies and the five open space typologies are mixed in the space to create a rich urban housing complex that offer an attractive range of living spaces and open areas with different degrees of privacy that act as a magnet for families with children.

The way the different typologies are mixed in the project articulated by the open spaces creates an interesting complex that we have named ‘global village’. The global village has a very specific identity created by two complementary aspects:

One is the cultural and social mix produced by the attraction of different people to the cosmopolitan character of the city.

The other is the opportunity of living in a high quality environment, quiet, secure and with direct contact with green areas, integrated facilities and special areas designed for children.

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Municipality Rotterdam
Residential, Leisure, Public space
Urban Study
0.9 Ha