De Kasbah

HengeloPiet Blom

Inspired by the Jordaan, the neighbourhood in Amsterdam where he grew up, Piet Blom seeks to achieve a mix of life and work in his projects. There should be room not just for homes, but for small businesses and shops as well.

In 1965 Blom published the brochure ‘Wonen als Stedelijk Dak’ (Living as an Urban Roof), his reaction against the mono­ tony of the terraced houses and flats of the time. The study is noteworthy for the idea – later applied in the Kasbah project – that the homes are situated in a closely-packed configuration on the first floor. They form a roof above a communal area that the residents will have to appropriate for themselves. By accommodating urban life on two levels, the ground floor space will be the reserve of the city’s public life. According to Blom it is not up to the architect to determine how that space is used…