An article written by Willem van Laar, a developer specialising in neigbourhoods and districs, and Arin van Zee, consultant at Pluk and at Viatore. They explain that in the 1950s and 1960s many low-rise apartment buildings (‘portiekflats’) were built in the Netherlands: three floors high with small dwellings. Some of these buildings had a plinth with local shops like a supermarket, a bakery, or a hairdresser. Nowadays it is visible that this traditional function of the commercial plinth has vanished. Changing circumstances led to bankruptcy of many small shop owners. Commercial activities dissipated, and new not to the neighbourhood related activities (like phone shops) have taken their place. The plinth is poorly maintained and degradation of the plinth is visible.
“Based on research in the neighbourhood and amongst entrepreneurs the idea came to rebuild the storage and garage boxes into small spaces for entrepreneurs for a low rent. Thus combining the need for local entrepreneurial spaces with a more open and vivid plinth.”