The Transvaal Neighbourhood in The Hague is a typical working-class district. It borders on Hoefkade, a lively city street which, together with the street market, forms an important component of the neighbourhood. The Transvaal Neighbourhood has deteriorated economically in recent decades: many residents with sufficient resources have moved away to a new Vinex development, leaving a preponderance of low-income families including many immigrant minorities.
The district, built in the early twentieth century, is characterized by a homogenous pattern of parallel streets and perimeter blocks with little public open space. Our plan comprises several different types, including both rental sector and owner-occupied sector units: compact apartments, large family dwellings and housing for handicapped persons and the elderly in a residential care centre. The middle block of the three, the residential care centre, retreats from the building line so creating space for a plaza with playground amenities. Combined home/work units and a supermarket are situated on the market side of the area. The recessed entrances to the housing blocks create a transition between the private and public domains, thereby enhancing liveliness and public safety in the street. The housing blocks look like a single entity, but our use of architectural details such as alcoves and brickwork relief (following the example of the existing blocks) preserves the visual rhythm of the individual dwellings.