Salty sea air, to fill lungs and living rooms

Salty sea air, to fill lungs and living rooms

Sea hospice Katwijk (Zeehos)

Sea hospice Katwijk (Zeehos)

Sea hospice Katwijk (Zeehos)

Sea hospice Katwijk (Zeehos)

the essence

Dunes on your doorstep

Hidden in the dunes of Katwijk, different areas of a former sea hospice can be found. For many years now, care organisation Het Raamwerk has used this hospice to provide a home for people with mental and physical disabilities.

On the grounds of the sea hospice, 350 new residential units have been built; 124 for clients of Het Raamwerk, the rest for market sale.

In our design, the dunes take centre stage; the residential units are guests in the dune landscape, and parking is for the most part situated below ground. Buildings are folded into the dunes, stand nimbly within its landscape or flow smoothly along its curves.

The materiality of the design has been harmonised with the colour palette of the dunes. Materials are specifically chosen for the way they age in saline winds. They will gain in beauty and interest over time.

Residential units have their feet in the sand, surrounded by wavy beach grass and fragrant dune roses. Broad terraces take the place of gardens. This allows the dunes to reach all the way to the doorsteps.


The approach

Optimising an already unique setting

This is seaside living. You can feel the warmth of the sand, smell the sea air. The coastal experience is front and centre in the entire design.

Existing hollows and plantings are integrated into the design. They work together with the buildings to amplify coastal atmospheres. Rough yellow building bricks, wide overhangs, green roofs and weathered wood harmonise with the dune landscape and appeal to coastal living.

Schetsontwerp plein
interesting insight


The result is a normal and at the same time special place to live, with integration as the key word. Integration of dunes and buildings, but also of residents with and residents without a disability, of people highly dependent on care and people who are very independent. The area is safe and livable for all groups; from the disabled resident to the children who grow up and play here. And there are no fences, all roads are through-roads, and the area is publicly accessible.


A place for beach grass and sand lizards

Living in the dunes is living with nature. The design embraces existing ecologies. This started already before building activities, when all sand lizards were caught and transferred safely to the adjacent nature reserve.

To make as much room for nature as possible, paving has been minimised. And to reinforce the ecology of the area, we have invested in improved connectivity with the surroundings. A wildlife crossing underneath the busy Schuitegatstraat is only one example.

Beplanting Zeehospitium
Beplanting helmgras Zeehospitium

Project data

Title: Sea hospice Katwijk (Zeehos)

Location: Katwijk, NL

Size: 12 ha

Client: Het Raamwerk

Contractor: Terrain: Van Eijk, Leiden, roof garden: Van Ginkel, Veenendaal

Cooperation: Groosman architects

Duration: 2005-2015

Type: Urban plan, image quality plan, design plan

Image credits: BoschSlabbers

Project code: HT 07-06