The city extension of Ypenburg is mainly located on the site of the former military airbase with the same name. Two large canals bring the runway into memory. The concrete monster itself has gone, but the length and the angle of the runway return powerfully in the masterplan. HvdH designed a court emsemble with houses and apartments at one of these canals.
At the canal side sits a strong urban apartment building. At this side the court fits into the urban scale of the other buildings at the canal.
Without any front or rear façade, the apartment building is oriented equally in both directions. It consists of four entrance porches that offer access to three apartments on each level. The transverse walls are positioned on a 5.40-m grid and are 16 m deep. This corresponds precisely with the minimal dimensioning system of the underground car park.
Prefabricated concrete balconies are attached to the front of the main brick volume and determine the architectural appearance. The concrete is clear white and, just like the white frames, contrasts graphically with the orange brickwork. This emphasises a difference in tectonic principles: concrete forms a skeleton, while brickwork expresses its own mass. One is slender and white, the other contains a low number of openings and looks solid. The floor slabs and columns on the balconies reflect the interior arrangement with living spaces on both sides of the building. The repeating main structure, the typological arrangement of the dwellings and the ornamental composition of balconies come together in the diagram of the building that underlines its double orientation.
The court is publicly accessible via porches in the perimeter. The entrance of all buildings are at the court. The court itself is surrounded by a ring of terraced houses with a pitched roof. The mass has been articulated by façade columns, down pipes, gables and various dormers. The third building has a flat roof, sits in the court as an object like shape and subdivides it into two smaller spaces.