HOUSING BLOCK NATAL
F.J. VAN DONGEN (DE ARCHITEKTEN CIE.), 1985-1990, Paul Krugerstraat, Rotterdam
Frits van Dongen
de Architekten Cie.
A gently winding block with five levels of housing extends across the diagonal of the rectangular site, replacing as it does three small perimeter blocks. It stands on columns to allow visual contact between the public spaces on either side along sight lines running between the shops tucked beneath the building. Orientation of the dwellings is reversed halfway along so that all living rooms look out onto the larger open space. Despite this strategy, which turns the access gallery zone into a row of balconies, Frits van Dongen has achieved a homogeneous facade by wrapping the whole in a concrete grid-like screen.