Typical Moerwijk corner as urban detail. Photography Stefan Müller – detail.

A design was made for an urban renewal area in the Hague Moerwijk district. It forms an ensemble of housing around a characteristic church, a monastery and a fraternity, built in the Bossche School architecture of the famous Van der Laan family. From this ‘bulwark’ the spiritual and intellectual education was supplied to the catholic community in the area.

Corner Grovestinsstraat – Middachtenweg. Photography Stefan Müller.

From 2006, Hans van der Heijden has been working on the urban layout, the public spaces and the housing, initially from his studio biq and subsequently under his own name.
The edge buildings follow the long perspectives of Moerwijk. The centre of the new neighbourhood, however, is small-scale and adjusted to the size of the existing buildings.

Central axis. Photography Stefan Müller.

By keeping the architecture, the urban design and the landscape design in one hand, a strong sense of cohesion was accomplished.
That is apparent in the use of materials. The existing clinker paving and concrete ornamentation are re-used. The church square will be supplied with walls and planters in raw in situ concrete.
Grass and purple Amber trees contribute to the sober material palette of the church square. The brickwork of the dwellings add to the earthbound colours of the ‘Bossche School’ ensemble. All practical necessities, including channel gutters, gully grates, light masts, garbage containers, garden walls and railings, are carefully integrated in the urban plan. The existing street profiles are also changed. Grovestinsstrat will get a lane profile with mature beeches. The paths to the dwellings around the church will remain car-free.