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DASH #14 – From Dwelling to Dwelling

Following the largescale production of new buildings in the second half of the twentieth century and the lull of the economic crisis, a new practice is emerging. Finding ways to reuse the existing building stock plays an important part in this. In the quest for a more sustainable use of resources and social capital, this focus on the transformation of the existing housing stock is a promising task for architects and developers. In the Netherlands, all eyes are on the postwar housing that, built in the reconstruction period, is due for an overhaul on technical grounds alone. This challenge is not new. Social change has gone hand in hand with adaptation of the housing stock for centuries. This DASH brings the current challenge into historical and international perspective, with essays that shed light on the subject from different stand points as well as newly documented examples – from Diocletianus’s palace in Split to the Albany apartment complex in London and recent projects such as the klus huizen (DIY houses) on U.J. Klarenstraat in Amsterdam.

Editorial DASH #14 - From Dwelling to Dwelling

A growing awareness of the necessity to use resources and social capital more sustainably has put the transformation of existing housing high on the agenda of developers and architects.…

Unplanned Adaptation as a Development Strategy

Frederik Hendriklaan 22, a townhouse in The Hague’s Statenkwartier or States Quarter, was built around 1900. The house has a floor area of approximately 300 m2. In the initial…

Housing Bricolage

Among the many forms of architectural and urban transformations of the existing city, the rethinking of modern mass housing built throughout Europe after the Second World War has become a crucial topic in the contemporary debate.

Cast in Concrete

Jaap Bakema’s work and position were marked by an unshakeable belief in society’s engineerability. In his many lectures and publications he also noted a number of reservations…

Our Daily Heritage

In the Netherlands there are few people who build their own homes. The majority of the population lives in a house that was built in the past.

Anyone Can Build New Houses

Not so very long ago, renovation or wholesale maintenance of post-war housing was not an activity you could use to distinguish yourself as an architect. After all, the task was primarily technical in nature. There was no honour to be gained as an architect unless it involved a residential building by a famous architect like Rietveld, Van Tijen or Brinkman en Van der Vlugt, or so it seemed.

Plan Documentation From Dwelling to Dwelling

Traditionally, architecture is not only about the production of new buildings, but also about the adaptation of existing ones. Consulting the history of architecture teaches us that…

Diocletian’s Palace

In the year 305, Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletian stood down as the emperor of the Roman Empire of his own free will – unheard of in ancient times – to retire to his recently…


Entering the sheltered Proveniershof via the Aspoort on a beautiful summer’s day, one is likely to find residents sitting outside their homes or having a picnic on the grass of the communal courtyard. In the winter it is quiet and empty.


Since the radical renovation of the eighteenth-century Melbourne house on Piccadilly (London) into flats for single gentlemen in 1802, the complex, renamed Albany, has had a special…