Somehow the roaring twenties have always fascinated me: the zeitgeist, the fashion, the literature, the visual arts… Therefore, I was absolutely and positively amazed that it took me only 15 minutes to walk to the Papaverhof, the groundbreaking 1919 – 1921 housing complex communal garden annex in the heart of The Hague city district Segbroek.
Fresh and clean
The Papaverhof consists of 128 middle-class homes, built in a double horseshoe shape around a lawn square, creating the effect of a garden city. The inner circle includes 68 two-floor high family houses, while the outer circle contains 60 apartments. The Papaverhof housing-complex was designed by Dutch architect Jan Wils, member of art movement De Stijl (in English: The Style) from 1917 until about 1919. His progressive ideas about living comfort expressed Jan Wils in among many other things: the speaking system in the apartment buildings and the fully down sliding bay-window in the low-rise. The Papaverhof was commissioned by housing association Daal en Berg, which still exists and nowadays (also) offers guided tours through the housing complex on appointment.
I guess I could tell you a lot more about unusual stylish Papaverhof, only former resident and well-known De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg said it all already in 1922: “The best in The Hague however, remains Daal en Berg. The house in which I am myself living has already been inspected and admired by all architects of note! It is delightful to live in a space that is so fresh and clean!”