Leyhof is a very sustainable residential building in the new Proeftuin Erasmusveld district in The Hague. It gives shape to the desire to live healthy and consciously.
Proeftuin Erasmusveld is a neighborhood that is ready for the future on all fronts. Themes like climate/landscape, energy, mobility, living together and health are central.
For Leyhof, the first residential building to be completed in the district, developer BPD selected a young design team through a competition. This gave shape to the theme 'Consciously Different Living' in an innovative way.
Leyhof has become a green and special living environment for people who choose a healthy future by connecting sustainability and collectivity. Families, starters and seniors live in the 75 apartments and 33 town houses. The houses are all conveniently located in relation to the sun and are adjacent to a large courtyard garden and an ecological zone.
The green location was a gift. Flux landscape architecture has connected everything with an integrated approach. The ecological zone has become part of the public space like a ribbon (with a footpath) and winds through the neighborhood without crossing roads. To make the building nature-inclusive, the east facades are full of nesting boxes for bats and birds.
The residential building is set up in steps: higher (and protective) on the forest side, sloping (and open) towards the park. This not only has a favorable effect on the incidence of light, but also gives the building an inviting, more small-scale appearance.
The overall appearance is natural and 'soft', with a base of masonry and wood. Much attention has been paid to details. The lightly cemented bricks give a nice matt effect. Subtle accents have been made between the houses with sandblasted concrete panels. The galleries on the north and east sides and the pergolas are made of wood. A rich mix of plant species grows on the roof garden above the parking garage (with electric shared cars and bicycles), with wooden decking in between.
All homes are energy-efficient, oriented to the sun, gas-free and receive heating and cooling from a thermal energy storage system. The green roof is combined with solar panels, wadis collect excess rainwater.
The collective character of the building also contributes to sustainability and quality of life: the communal areas encourage encounters. In addition, the shared facilities have reduced the overall footprint of the building.
What also makes this project distinctive is that experiments with sustainable forms of living/living were already carried out in the start-up phase with a ‘proeftuin’. People could see what is possible and contribute ideas during brainstorming sessions about the quality of their home and living environment. A number of important wishes are therefore reflected in the design. The block contains several communal areas such as a neighborhood room, a laundry bar (while doing your laundry you can drink a juice at the bar and talk to neighbors), a hotel room for guests, an outdoor pavilion and a study. All partly created by co-creation. The smart energy concept also emerged from these sessions.
For this assignment, a collaboration was entered into in 2016 between Workshop Architecten (now Workshop Architecten, Studio Ard Hoksbergen and Studio Pallesh), LINT landscape architecture (now FLUX landscape architecture and OTO landscape architecture) and marco.broekman (now BURA urbanism). From the preliminary design, there was close collaboration with both client and contractor.
In 2021, Proeftuin Erasmusveld won the SKG Award for sustainable area development because of its exemplary function because “all the sustainability check marks are actually ticked.”