The Hollainhof is a social housing complex located in the center of Ghent. The project aims at creating an attractive habitat combining the quality and density of the urban surroundings with privacy and peacefulness. This is achieved by updating the traditional residential type. The result is a complex that fluctuates from public to private, open to closed, large- to small-scale.
The dwellings are'grouped in two strips, one of them following the street and the other facing the river. The strips are composed of fifteen blocks with ten to eight dwellings each. There is a large open-air garden between the strips. A large underground passage connects the street to the garden that gives access to the houses, which have their own private garden.
The dwellings of the lower levels have the bedrooms on the ground floor and the daytime areas on the first floor overlook the square. The apartments in the upper level are accessed through exterior stairways and large terraces on the roof. Overall, the project generates a great variety of dwellings in a series of sculptural blocks, each one with its own identity.
The garden walls are of prefabricated concrete dyed with terra cotta. The blocks, clad in cedar wood, stand in a dark gray, reinforced concrete plinth. As time goes by the cedar wood will gradually turn gray. One of the pavilions inside the garden hosts a nursery and there is an underground garage beneath the block facing the river. Some of the dwellings facing the street are accessed through a loggia on the first floor. This elevation emphasizes the complex's scale and character.
The complex Is composed of cwo housing strips facing the street and with a large central garden between them.
Elevation of the blocks feeing the river
A large accessway at one end of the complex provides vehicular entry into the inner courtyard for the dwellings located alongside the river.
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The materials used give the project a forceful presence, with the terra cotta colored concrete garden walls and blocks clad in strips of cedar, which will acquire a grayish tint over time, in consonance with the dark gray, reinforced concrete plinth.
Barto + Barto
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