Urban Oases, Dutch Hofjes as Hidden Architectural Gems


Willemijn Wilms Floet
Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Keywords: courtyard architecture, courtyard housing, courtyard typology, architecture of inclusivity, commons, city densification, communal housing, sustainable housing


Urban Oases is an ode to the architecture of Dutch hofjes. It explains why hofjes have been a natural and attractive part of the urban fabric of the Netherlands for six centuries and why they continue to appeal to new generations.
The appeal of hofje architecture lies in its ability to renew its medieval archetype – an enclosed living environment around a shared green garden. Hofjes allow both residents and visitors to enjoy an especially serene and intimate atmosphere that contrasts surprisingly with the urban experience of hustle and bustle.

The drawings, text and photography of Urban Oases take the reader to the capillaries of old Dutch cities and are relevant to an important contemporary global question: How can high-quality, compact residential environments be created in twenty-first century cities? Inspired by this extraordinary architectural heritage, the author addresses everyone who wants to contribute to a sustainable and liveable city.

This book is part of a series of open access books published jointly by TU Delft OPEN Publishing and nai010.


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April 6, 2022

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