Prof. ir.

Wim van den Bergh Architect



Selected Invitations

“Social Villa”

Housing Festival, Dedemsvaartweg, the Hague, plot 5c.

Project for a villa in pre-cast concrete

i.c.w. Arets. W.

Publication: 1988/06, 2003/03



Housing Festival

The City of The Hague organized the Housing Festival to mark the completion of its 200,000th dwelling in 1987. A strip of land 1,500 m. in length and 30 m. wide on the edge of Morgenstond, a postwar housing estate, became the site for the construction of a total of 550 housing units in 45 different building projects, with the greatest possible variety of architectural styles and dwelling types. Kees Christiaanse created an urban scheme with low-rise, medium-rise and high-rise building. In the course of fifteen years, all kinds of dwelling types have been developed within this urban structure: patio dwellings, detached villas, clustered one-family houses, urban villas, apartments, lofts and penthouses. More than 45 different architects from the Netherlands and abroad contributed designs.

Design intentions

In this small social villa, the theme, worked out within the urban context offered by OMA’s Kees Christiaanse for the Housing Festival, is ‘transparency’ from public to private. So trans-parency, from Latin trans- "through" + parere "come in sight, appear", during the spatial sequence that a visitor goes through from the public street towards the private inner court yard at the ‘piano nobile’. A sequence of spatial thresholds that by nature is ambivalent and suspended between hostility and hospitality.

The car is parked to the side of  the house on the small triangular plot next to the ‘back/private’ entrance of the courtyard. This courtyard with its second ‘front/public’ entrance also functions as a passageway between the two streets that enclose the house. As the wide entrance hall (receiving daylight through the glass entrance door) is a space with a practical value, horizontal circulation space within the house could be considered to be reduced to zero. Three bedrooms and a bathroom are located on the ground floor, thus to create at the ‘piano nobile’ an open living space with kitchen and an inner private courtyard / roof terrace.

The intention was to build the dwelling as a prototype entirely from prefabricated concrete elements with frameless hardened glass. The concrete component manufacturer Elementum hoped to build variants of the design elsewhere on a serial production basis, but due to their bankruptcy this design was not executed.

Ground floor

Site plan

Interior view

drawing by Wendi Bakker

Piano Nobile

Section BB

South-east facade

Section DD

Section CC

Section AA

South-west facade

North-west facade

North-east facade