J.J.P. OUD, 1925-1930, 1e en 2e Kiefhoekstraat/Lindtstraat, Rotterdam
W. Patijn (rest. 1990-1995) Visits: 010-4853159
New Apostolic Church Rotterdam
Some 300 dwelling units, two shops, a hot-water service, two raised playgrounds and a church add up to the Kiefhoek housing estate. Designed by Oud in 1925 and built between 1928 and 1930, its dwellings were intended for less prosperous workers' families. The plan is based on elongated rows of standardized two-storey units. Having this rational basis respond to its surroundings in different ways gave rise to a varied urban plan. In the south of the estate, the oblique borderline led Oud to design round corners at the acute angle of two open-ended blocks. Containing shops, these rounded corners are very much like those of Oud's Hook of Holland housing of one year earlier. The facades are similar too. The horizontally articulated frontage combines a lower band of grey-framed glass with bands of yellow brick. A central white-rendered band divides this from a similarly uninterrupted band of yellow containing fenestration on the upper level. Front gardens are separated from each other by walls of yellow brick and fenced in with blue steel railings. Unlike the Hook of Holland housing, front and rear elevations get equal treatment here. The compact plan (7.5 x 4.1 m.) consists on the ground floor of a living room and entrance porch on the street side and a kitchen facing the garden. A semi-circular stair leads to an upper level of three bedrooms. Lack of funds meant that plans for such facilities as a shower, washbasin, ironing board and service hatch had to be abandoned. Despite this, Oud used the limited means and space available to create a fully-fledged dwelling and boost the 'Existenzminimum' (minimum subsistence level) with an architectural bonus. Both urban design and dwelling plans have been justifiably greeted with international acclaim. The district has been demolished entirely and then rebuilt, keeping as close as possible to the original design.