Rozendaal Park

Henk Klunder & David Zuiderhoek

Opened in 1960

Leusden, The Netherlands

Plans for the Rozendaal Park buildings. Beautiful half moon shapes.

First drive-in houses

The first plans for the Rozendaal district, popularly called 'The Eurohouses', originated in the 1960s. After the Second World War, building was mainly functional. To quickly meet the great need for housing, many terraced houses were placed in straight blocks. The Eurohouses are based on experiments with matchboxes.

© Collection HKL

The neighborhood design with 1,100 identical homes — of which about 450 were eventually built — derives its unique character from the long but curved building blocks. The fan-shaped floor plan arose 'naturally' due to a difference in width of half a meter between the front and rear facades of the houses. This offset provided privacy. For the developer it was a way to build more houses together in blocks up to 100 meters long. For the designers, this resulted in a unique image 'of convexes and concaves'. Central squares were created between two half-arches, which were named after European regions such as Brittany and Essex. The backyards bordered on the spacious greenery, which included communal facilities such as a tennis court, playground and a (heated) swimming pool.

© Photo: Max Schmitz, Park Rozendaal (2022)
© IkWilWatt

The drive-in houses with flat roofs have gravel concrete facades and aluminum sliding doors. There are small balconies that provide playful jumps. At the front, each house has a concrete planter and a ramp to the garage door. The houses are identical on the outside, but flexible on the inside. For each of the three floors, one could choose from four different layouts upon completion.

© Photo: Max Schmitz, Park Rozendaal (2022)

To give the end facades of the row of houses a more beautiful appearance, artist Bouke Ylstra designed a relief of a quarter circle. This mold could always be rotated, so that all end facades looked slightly different.”

Self management

Park Rozendaal is one of the first Dutch residential areas to be set up according to the principle of self-management and community building.

© Photo: Bram van den Biezen

Due to the sharp rise in construction costs, sales were disappointing and the second part of Rozendaal was not built according to plan. The part that has been realized is renowned and loved. The district still functions as the designers intended. Residents have a say in the design of their central square. A foundation has been set up for the self-management of the green and sports facilities. The purchase contracts include a mandatory annual contribution, supplemented by a standard amount that the Green Foundation Rozendaal receives per square meter from the municipality.

© Photo: Unknown
© Photo: Snel ERA Makelaar

In 2005, Rozendaal was declared the most child-friendly neighborhood in the Netherlands. Even though there are more freedoms than in the beginning, almost all residents conform to the 'house rules' and leave the facades intact, including uniform colors of window frames and garage doors. Many homes are now equipped with solar panels and efforts are being made to make them more sustainable. The swimming pool building will be renovated and expanded with a multifunctional space.

aldo van eyck - herman hertzberger - aldo va eyck - herman hertzberger

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