• Dick van Gameren TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Frederique van Andel TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
  • Olv Klijn TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment




The concepts ‘standard’ and ‘ideal’ are inextricably associated in housing design. Efforts by various architects in the twentieth century to create standardized and affordable dwellings produced an endlessly varied series of ideal homes, some of which were built, others not. While large-scale housing is based to a high degree on optimization and repetition, residential floor plans have nevertheless proven to be the subject of continuous development. Roughly speaking, two approaches can be distinguished: on the one hand, the search for new typologies familiar to us from modern architecture, and on the other, the search for typological invention, which takes the conventions of existing house building practice as its starting point.

The recent collapse of our economic growth model has given renewed relevance to the call to reformulate housing ideals. With less money available and companies, government agencies and consumers avoiding major risks, the most obvious prediction seems that we are on the threshold of a new austerity. The question arises, however, whether it is actually advisable in these circumstances to fall back on existing standards. Now is perhaps the moment to develop new standards for the residential floor plan. At any rate, the present crisis will certainly compel architects to undertake a new search for better fitting solutions.

In this fourth edition of DASH we explore a possible direction in which these solutions might be found. Using classic and lesser known projects from inside and outside the Netherlands we study the oscillating movement of the residential floor plan, and the topical question of how to relate individual solutions and large-scale stacked housing developments. Although mass customization has for some time been the magic charm for banishing the spectre of twentiethcentury mass production, ‘standard’ solutions are still common in day-to-day building practice. This begs the question of how and to what extent differences can be usefully incorporated in mass housing.

Author Biographies

Dick van Gameren, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Dick van Gameren is dean and full professor at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of Delft University of Technology, and partner at Mecanoo architecten in Delft, the Netherlands. Combining his work as an architect with a professorship, Van Gameren maintains a critical approach to design by lecturing, researching and publishing. In 2007, Van Gameren won the prestigious Aga Kahn Award for the design of the Dutch Embassy in Ethiopia. In 2008, Van Gameren founded the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and is since then editor in chief. At TU Delft. He leads the Global Housing Study Centre and is also board member of the Archiprix foundation, of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre in Rotterdam and of the Amsterdam based AMS Institute. He is also a member of the TU Delft Global Initiative Steering Committee.

Frederique van Andel, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Frederique van Andel holds a Master’s degree in both urban planning and architecture from Delft University of Technology. She worked for Mecanoo architecten and DP6 architectuurstudio in Delft, and lived in Barcelona where she worked with architect Toni Gironès. Since 2006, Frederique is a researcher and lecturer in the Global Housing research group of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TU Delft. Her main topic of interest is affordable housing for growing cities in the Global South. Frederique curated the exhibition ‘Global Housing – Affordable Dwellings for Growing Cities’ (2016) with venues in Delft and Addis Ababa. She is editor of the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and coordinates and edits the online Platform for Affordable Dwelling (PAD). Frederique teaches Master courses on Global Housing Design and Bachelor courses on Plan Analysis. She is project manager for the research project ‘Addis Ababa Living Lab: Creating Resilient Dwelling Clusters for Urban Resettlement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’, funded by the Dutch Research Council and TU Delft (2019-2023).

Olv Klijn, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Olv Klijn is Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology and founder and partner of FABRICations. Klijn studied architecture at Eindhoven University of Technology and graduated Cum Laude. Klijn has written articles for various architecture magazines, including de Architect, and worked as a junior architect for OMA in Rotterdam. Klijn is (co) author of various books such as VMX Agenda, 10 x Den Bosch, Station Centraal, Architect by accident and The making of ... After founding FABRICations in 2007 with Eric Frijters, he has been involved in the design and research of architecture, urban design and regional strategies. In 2010, FABRICations won the first prize in the Prix de Rome Architecture.  In 2011, Klijn was recognized as one of the 40 emerging European architects under the age of 40. A year later he was nominated for the Iakov Chernikhov International Architecture Prize.