The Rotterdam office Van den Broek and Bakema made the first design for the Tanthof residential area south of Delft in 1969. The plan provided a core of high-rise slabs along and over a major trunk road towards Rotterdam, with the low-rise neighbourhoods around it.
After criticism, the first plan was rejected. The trunk road disappeared, as did the high-rise developments. A broad working group was set up with designers from Van den Broek and Bakema, municipal employees and residents' representatives, including Joost Váhl, Anneloes van de Berg, Hiwe Groenewolt, Frans Hooykaas, Peter Lüthi, Jan Stokla, and Abe Bonnema.
This working group developed an entirely new plan. The existing polder landscape did not disappear under a metre-thick layer of sand as was customary in the construction of residential areas in Holland, but it formed the basis for the new design. The historic hamlet of Abtswoude and its farms became the central linear element. Housing and car access were integrated with waterways and a network for pedestrians and cyclists, with various architectural firms called in to work on the residential neighbourhoods.
Van den Broek and Bakema realised one of the southern neighbourhoods (1975-81), arranging the houses based on a historic farmyard pattern where the buildings are grouped together around the yard, while bringing canals into the neighbourhood. The architectural vernacular with picturesque sloping roofs and the mixed use of wood and concrete brick recall the holiday parks the firm previously designed for Sporthuis Centrum.
Urban planner Joost Váhl (1939) made a name for himself as an activist and advocate of the mixing of traffic where the dominance of the car had to be curbed while pedestrians and cyclists were given more space. In Delft he laid the first speed bump in the Netherlands.
In 1989 Willem Jan Neutelings (1959) was commissioned by the municipality of The Hague to study the urbanisation process of the southern section of the so-called Randstad conurbation in the west of the Netherlands, in particular the area between The Hague and Rotterdam.
Gonggrijp graduated in 1969 on a landscape study of the western Netherlands. His design research focused on the ongoing expansion of the port of Rotterdam. For this research he created a series of hand-drawn maps with overlaid transparent sheets.
Urban designer Frits Palmboom (1951) made his name in 1987 with the book Rotterdam, verstedelijkt landschap (Rotterdam, Urbanised Landscape), a completely new interpretation of the urban morphology of Rotterdam.
The New Netherlands
In 1987 the exhibition 'Nieuw Nederland' (The New Netherlands) took place on the initiative of the foundation Nederland Nu Als Ontwerp (The Netherlands Now As Design). With a view to the future urbanisation of the Netherlands, four scenarios were developed for the spatial development of the Netherlands up to the year 2050.