Instead, the urban structure of Delft stood model for the plan. (Delfshaven was traditionally the port city of Delft.) It is characterized by its many alleys, courts, squares and quays and the mixed program in the buildings. On one street private houses and offices are neighbored by public functions like restaurants and bars, churches and galleries, etc..
Crimson Architecture Historians once made a graphic map of the public/private division in Historic Delfshaven as a reference to the famous map of Rome’s out- and indoor public spaces made by Giambattista Nolli. Crimson’s map showed a large summed up area of public access, both outside and inside buildings. We then extended that map to the rest of Delfshaven and showed how different the situation is at the large closed housing blocks in the area around our project site. In those blocks the public space stops dead at the front door, the inner courtyards are filled with private gardens only accessible for tenants and the streets are spaces meant only to move through, not to stay about.
By importing the urban fabric of Historic Delfshaven onto the project site we made our proposal independent from the architecture of the buildings themselves.