The Agaathhof is located in a place with a lot of history. During the Spanish rule of the Netherlands, there was a handball court here, and in the centuries that followed a Christian home for young people, a club house and (in the 1960s) a conference centre.
After a number of other new construction plans were rejected, the idea arose for a design for a housing project with 17 town houses inspired by the hofjes (courtyards in which charities for the poor and sick were housed from the Middle Ages on). In Groningen, these were called gasthuizen (guest houses). Such enclosed courtyards were characterised by a garden and courtyard with their own atmosphere: an oasis of peace in the busy city centre.
The three building blocks of the Agaathhof together form a communal courtyard, located on a plinth with a parking garage, bicycle sheds and storage spaces. From the street, a wide staircase provides access to the intimate courtyard. The typology of the project ensures integration into the urban fabric, as well as unity and a sense of community.
Distinctive brick façades embed the project in its context
Agaathhof, in the heart of Groningen, consists of 17 modern town houses set around a green communal courtyard. The project is inspired by the courtyard ‘hofjes’, as they are called in Groningen, otherwise known as guest houses. In terms of form, composition, detailing and use of materials, the modern courtyard connects naturally with the existing historical street pattern and surrounding architecture. It offers residents an oasis of peace in the busy city centre.
The houses and courtyard have been raised 1.5 metres above street level, creating space for a parking garage, a bicycle shed and storage rooms. The houses are divided over three different building blocks. The two end houses define the façade view from Lutkenieuwstraat. With an extra floor with a pitched roof, they accentuate the courtyard.
All the houses have basically the same structure. Within this structure, a flexible layout is enabled, and the layout is tailored to the residents’ specific living requirements. An unusual spatial element in the houses is the void at the front, which connects the ground floor with the first floor.
- Groningen, NL
- 4.350 m²
- Rottinghuis / Beauvast
- Harry Cock
- More info