Parkblok in Haarlem’s ‘Slaughterhouse Neighbourhood’ is located at a prominent place along Schipholweg that marks the city’s eastern entrance. ML_A designed a building that focuses on quality and sustainability, while also fitting in with both the area’s urban character and the nearby park. With a variety of housing types, it was made with a wide target group in mind. The design includes 69 apartments in a mix of inexpensive studios and apartments, medium-priced rental homes and more expensive owner-occupied apartments. The park block has a layered structure with a prominent horizontal articulation of concrete floor bands. The block is 'hollowed out' by an atrium over the full height of the building. As a warm, wood-clad light courtyard, the atrium functions as an impressive entrance hall complete with seductive staircase. All front doors are also located at the atrium, creating an obvious place for residents to interact.

With a city side and a park side, the building is subtly tuned to each situation. On the park side, undulating balconies refer to the organic shapes of the greenery, while slender discs give a strong rhythm to the facades. On the city side, the balconies are neatly aligned and the piers between the windows are flat to create a calmer cadence. Planters have been integrated into the balconies to create a greener facade on the street side. The result is an elegant building with a clear and open structure with verandas on four sides and a massive recessed facade shell. The set-back facade line has a more vertical articulation with slender discs, a solid materialization and refined detailing in glass, aluminium and decorative concrete.

The volume has five storeys, keeping it within the zoning plan, which connects with the adjacent building block. The roof edge is set back in relation to the balcony line and follows the contour of the facade line. In this way the volume is elegantly articulated and terminated. A high roof edge prevents infrastructure and solar panels from being visible from the street. The roof is made 'rainproof' as a green roof where rainwater is collected in crates. In this way the roof is used as a water storage for not only irrigation but also provides natural cooling of the building and PV panels.

The building entrance and entrance to the parking garage are clearly recognizable as a notch in the parking plinth and connect directly to ground level. The plinth is continued all around as an outdoor space and follows the contours of the balconies above. This creates a basement with which, due to the elevated location of the apartments, privacy and the necessary distance between public space and the private home are guaranteed without further intervention by residents. The transition from building to park is thus clearly defined.

Project data

Residential building Park Block
Willem Arondéusstraat, Haarlem


69 owner occupied and rental apartments, parking garage

Gross floor area
6.172 m2

Project team  
Marcel Lok, Carolina Chataignier

Vink Bouw

Structural engineer
Pieters Bouwtechniek

Building physics advisor
Techniplan, Eteck

Carolina Chataignier

Tim Stet (model)