In search of the key to the secret of the Dutch Hofje, a centuries-old architectural success story
Dutch hofjes have been capturing the imagination for six centuries; their special architecture makes these small, hidden urban oases unabatedly topical. In every period architects have innovated the fourteenth-century archetype in response to changing societal needs. Residents and visitors always experience a special, urban intimacy in an atmosphere of collectivity. Urban Oases unravels the sustainable manifestation of the hofje. It takes the reader into the alleyways of ancient cities and also addresses an important contemporary question: How can we create high-quality, compact residential environments that bring peace to the often chaotic urban environment? This book, in which text and image are equally important, is intended for architects, urban designers, developers, policymakers and private commissioners who want to create a sustainable residential environment as well as for anyone interested in this extraordinary heritage. Dr. Ir. Willemijn Wilms Floet teaches Architecture at Delft University of Technology.