De Beer: Real Social Living

A great new place to live is on the horizon: De Beer, a building ensemble that makes space for the old apartment blocks on the Beresteinlaan. De Zwarte Hond and partner Dura Vermeer have won the tender to redevelop the Berensteinlaan in De Venen, The Hague. The assessment committee of the district development agency of The Hague Zuidwest (WOM DHZW), a collaboration between Hof Wonen and the municipality of The Hague, praises the “balanced vision, in which connecting and meeting are central”.

The plan features the redevelopment of the outdated apartment blocks on Berensteinlaan into De Beer, a modern residential building with approximately 132 social rental homes. The starting point is a building in which connecting and meeting are central and home affordability is a priority, a building that increases the quality of life for future residents, with homes that meet the housing requirements of our time. Local residents can also enjoy seeing the renovation of the De Venen neighbourhood.

But De Beer is more than this. It’s a building ensemble with a special, collective quality. De Beer wants to bring people together, an important function in this south-west district of The Hague. The target group that will soon be living in De Beer is a mix of young and old, families and single parents, and people with various migration backgrounds. These residents have many social contacts in their neighbourhood of De Venen. De Beer connects with this and stimulates collectivity with places that encourage encounters: a communal garden with a vegetable patch, wide galleries with seating areas, green front gardens on the street and an inviting entrance. All these ensure that De Beer will be a residential ensemble where you know your neighbours and where you live together. De Beer connects.

The houses are oriented towards the special green elements of De Venen, with a view of the canal and trees, plenty of attention to sustainability and climate adaptation, public and private greenery and a communal garden as a place to cool down and meet others. The homes in De Beer are high-quality and robust. Every home has a good outdoor space, with a view of the surroundings. De Beer is a contemporary residential building, yet with the characteristics of post-war reconstruction architecture and built with craftsmanship. It fits within the structure of De Venen – now and in the future.

De Beer does what a good, future-proof, social housing building should do: let people live together in an enjoyable and affordable way.