Housing, Mathenesserweg 136-218
At the south west end of the Mathenesserweg three angled blocks contain vertically stacked maisonettes.
The hole left by the bombardment of March 1943 between Mathenesserweg and Schiedamseweg is gradually filling up with new homes. Since March of last year, the firm of contractors B. and P. Both is at work around Korfmakersstraat on the construction of 120 homes and two storage structures. The buildings were designed by the architects Jos and Leo de Jonge and will be completed in September.
Het Vrĳe Volk, 23 March 1953
Five floors yet no lift
The housing development at the south-western end of Mathenesserweg does not consist of perimeter blocks but of a half-open pattern of three angled blocks of varying length with galleries. Five-floor blocks on a plinth of storage units were initially planned, but another solution was chosen because of the requirement to include a lift in five-floor buildings. The design consists of three rows of vertically stacked maisonettes without a plinth, which meant that the entrances to the maisonettes at the top remained below the 11-metre mark, above which a lift would have been required. All storage units were housed in two-level structures along Mathenesserweg. This also offered greater protection for the shared gardens between the blocks. The maisonettes at ground level have their own private garden. The main staircases are located on Mathenesserweg, with the escape staircases on the Korfmakersstraat side.
Narrow bay width
Just 4.17 metres in width, the homes are fairly narrow. They are 56m2 and contain four rooms. An internal stairs is positioned in the middle, parallel with the facades. The maisonettes at the kink are slightly larger. The narrow bay width meant that the floors could be spanned without the need for partition walls or points of support. The opening for the stairs did not require any complicated additional structures, because it lay in the direction of the span. That kept down the cost of construction. The nett rental price amounted to about 10 guilders (4.5 euros) a month. The first pile was driven into the ground on 18 March 1952, and the buildings were completed by September 1953.
So each maisonette is practically a free dwelling. Above the bedroom floor of one home lies the living floor of the next, accessed from a gallery. Three of these maisonettes are stacked on top of one another.
From Mathenesserweg, residents enter a generous staircase, and ramps provide access to the storage buildings, containing spaces for bicycles on two levels.
The homes will contain a spacious living room, a kitchen, a washing and bathing space and a coal store, with three bedrooms upstairs.
Het Vrĳe Volk, 25 October 1951
Areas of glass
The stacked maisonettes create a distinctive composition of alternating rows of galleries and balconies on the entrance facades. The concrete balconies of every two units are joined together. On the other facade the various windows are set in concrete surrounds, with large expanses of glass to the living rooms alternating with smaller windows to the bedrooms. The large windows to the living rooms are set in protruding frames like television screens. These frames have also been used for the living rooms behind the end walls. Each maisonette also has a French balcony with a casement door. A concrete flower box is attached below one of the bedroom windows.
In the design of homes, too often one sees demonstrations of affluence, or fake affluence, instead of efficiency and harmonious colours and lines. The ‘Beter Wonen’ consumer organization has sought to improve the situation. In collaboration with the Patrimonium housing association in Delfshaven, it has designed two model homes at Mathenesserweg 136a and 138a. (…)
Both homes demonstrate how you can create a charming yet efficient interior in rooms of relatively modest size, without taking up too much space. The kitchen is also fitted out in a highly practical manner, though it will prove difficult for many housewives to limit their cooking utensils to what is deemed sufficient in this model home. We found the choice of wallpaper and colours of the floor covering to be particularly attractive.
Het Vrĳe Volk, 28 September 1953
De Jonge, father and son
These residential blocks were designed by the architecture firm of father and son Jos and Leo de Jonge. Initially, the office mostly carried out commissions for Protestant institutions. Jos de Jonge (1887-1965) began practising before World War Two and designed schools, churches and housing. His son Leo de Jonge (1919-2009) graduated in 1948 from the Higher Architecture Institute in Amsterdam. By then he was already working with his father. Besides these 120 homes, they designed 500 homes in Oud-Mathenesse, 160 homes in Overschie, 104 homes in Charlois and 400 homes in Pendrecht during the same period, all for Patrimonium. They also designed numerous homes for the elderly. Their best-known building from the post-war period is the Ben Maltha garage/ Sint Lucia Female Teacher Training College.
The buildings were renovated in 1988 as part of an urban renewal programme, resulting in the loss of many original details. Lifts were installed to improve access to the maisonettes. A renovation in 2019 displayed more respect for the building’s monumental qualities. The scheme was included in the publication Toonbeelden van de wederopbouw, released to mark the launch of an initiative by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands to protect post-war reconstruction architecture, but it does not enjoy any official status.
- J. & L. de Jonge
- 1950 - 1953
- Mathenesserweg 136-218, Rotterdam, Nederland
- Bospolder Tussendijken