The groeikern legacy - Housing typologies in Dutch new towns

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Dutch New Towns are in-between old and new. They are not yet recognized as cultural heritage. At the same time, they are passing through major transformations. Research is therefore necessary to document and assess them, to inform stakeholders and prevent later regrets for disregarding this Groeikernen legacy. This paper presents a comparative analysis of five low-rise suburban neighbourhoods in Dutch New Towns. The central question in this research is: what are the urban and architectural attributes (tangible and intangible) of the residential architecture in Groeikernen? The applied methods were fieldwork, archival, and literature research. The paper presents two extreme positions in design concepts and societal aims that have dominated the Groeikernen residential architecture. On the one hand, the humanist approach advocating an organic architecture focused on the human scale, diversity, and inclusivity. This architecture was a countermovement to Modernism, producing mass housing in disguise. On the other end, a neo-rationalist reintroduction of the Modernist tradition by a pragmatic and formal architecture manifests mass housing unambiguously. This paper discusses the influence of these two positions on the architectural discourse, by illustrating their specific impact on the documented neighbourhoods. Many designs of housing typologies adopt characteristics of these extremes, playing on both sides. This leads to a rich collection of typologies, combining humanist and neo-rationalist characteristics. The exploration of tangible and intangible attributes of the Groeikernen legacy in this paper aims to enable a future discussion about its values, which is needed for the development of informed heritage policies, conservation, and transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication16th International Docomomo Conference Tokyo Japan 2020+1 Proceedings - Inheritable Resilience
Subtitle of host publicationSharing Values of Global Modernities
EditorsAna Tostoes, Yoshiyuki Yamana
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-4-9047-0075-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event16th International Docomomo Conference Tokyo Japan 2020+1 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 29 Aug 20212 Sep 2021

Publication series

NameInheritable Resilience: Sharing Values of Global Modernities - 16th International Docomomo Conference Tokyo Japan 2020+1 Proceedings


Conference16th International Docomomo Conference Tokyo Japan 2020+1


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