't Hool Eindhoven

Jaap Bakema Study Centre
The Netherlands

't Hool in Eindhoven is one of the best demonstrations of Bakema's ideas for housing and his concept of the visual group. The project was developed together with the city of Eindhoven and with employees of Philips, who initiated the planning of the new city district and who asked Bakema to become the architect of their project. The concept of the visual group is based on the idea that each district or neighbourhood should be a reflection of the larger society as a whole, and that each household type from the single individual to the family to the aged couple should be provided with a proper home in such an inclusive district. It is an idea derived from social studies, neighbourhood planning and social engineering policies, that are commonly associated with the Western European welfare state of the post-war period. 
In Eindhoven this resulted in a living environment characterized by generous outdoor spaces and an unmatched variety of housing types: from highrise appartments to walk-up flats, to all sorts of row houses, patio houses, detached houses and so-called growing houses. The architecture style is a laconic kind of brick architecture with natural painted wood with special attention paid to transitional elements as porches and doorsteps. It is both ordinary and generous in the way it allows for the everyday practices of appropriation by its inhabitants.

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