Vandersanden

English eye catcher in the Netherlands

In the south of Hoofddorp, you can suspend your belief for a moment and imagine you are in England. Here you will find a new construction project of 1,200 homes with a special exterior. This is because the project was designed in the characteristic English Tudor style.

Martine van Vliet is a landscape architect and urban planner. Since 2011, she has been working on the Tudor Park project, for which the first sub plan has now been completed. Contour spoke to Van Vliet about this special location, and asked her about the choices that had to be made by the design team.

"City architect Fred Kaay wanted this project to be different. Something English, romantic and with sweeping lines."


Sweeping lines

Often, urban planners and architects choose straight lines when designing ‘polder areas’. Martine van Vliet tells us how she came to choose a Tudor style: “City architect Fred Kaay wanted this project to be different. Something English, romantic and with sweeping lines.

In consultation with the municipality, it was decided that the project would be in the Tudor style. This was followed by a period spent on research. Usually this is done independently. However for Tudor Park I went on a trip to England, together with the architects from the firms involved.”

Spacious layout of outdoor area

Today research trips abroad are no longer as common. Van Vliet indicates that they do offer a lot of added value. Certainly in this case, with such a typical pronounced style. “In England, we found so many attractive neighbourhoods, estates and garden towns that inspired us to create a warm, English-style atmosphere in Hoofddorp.

And it is not only the architectural style of the houses that is important here… the outdoor area also plays a major role. For example, we not only used pavers, but we also used flagstones. This is not something you would normally do in a new-build project. We have created little squares and green spaces. And we have mirrored the themes in the greenery to bring out a more recognisable identity. This spacious layout of greenery and water blends in well with the Tudor style. And the wooden lattices and stone bridges are real eye-catchers.”

Unity à la Berlage

As our defining starting point we formulated nine rules to which we as designers had to adhere. During various workshops we reached a decision on the different types of houses, we looked at where we wanted to add some interesting accents and which special areas we wanted the design to mirror.

It is amazing to see how everyone uses the maximum creative space within these self-imposed restrictions. And sticking to those rules pays off, as the style is now consistent. It has truly become a complete unity. Today you see that new housing estates are very varied in design. This is in contrast to, for example, projects in the past such as the old plans by architect Berlage which have a uniform appearance. The unity we have brought here has really made Tudor Park stand out.”

Nuances in the use of materials

The choice of paver is very important, Van Vliet explains. “The streets form the neighbourhood's main structure. What I find most attractive is that you can't see the end of the streets, because we have worked with curves. That gives a spatial effect of the street continuing. Everywhere, the paving uses an identical brick laid in the same pattern. This adds to the sense of unity.

Driveways can be paved using the same bricks, so they form a continuous pattern. In each neighbourhood we add small nuances through the use of materials. For example, we have used yellow bricks in combination with red bricks for the first island. As a result, the streets radiate a warmth that befits the Tudor style.”

The Tudors and their architectural style

The reign of the English royal house of Tudor, from 1486 to 1603 gave its name to the architectural style. This style is characterized by the many ornaments in masonry, such as arches, corbel gables and pinnacles. Typical features are the steep roofs with flat tiles, windows with lattices and striking chimneys with their characteristic ceramic chimney pots.

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