Dordrecht is the fourth largest city located in the west of the Netherlands. The city formed along the Thure river. This river was a branch of the river Dubbel and ran approximately near the current Bagijnhof. Dordrecht used to be one of the most important marketing city in the 13th century that influence the increasing population number of Dordrecht. Due to the demand for social housing in Dordrecht, the city itself now containing almost 90% of cheap houses. As a result, higher income people suffered from finding a better houses.
Stadswerven is one of the self-home built(Zelfbouw) projects in the Netherlands created by the municipality of Dordrecht in 2003, which mainly focus on individual housing for high salaried citizens. This area was developed from a former shipyard that located near the city center and will soon connected to the inner city. This area geographically existed in a strategic location containing 30 hectares with 800 dwellings. The Stadswerven land used to be below sea level, but according to the establishment of the shipyard made the area now 3-5 meters(depends on zoning) above sea level. In the future, there will be some cultural institutions such as music school, pop center, dance education and will also be high rises(zone A) for being a market point for visitors. The programmes will include the city new Theatre and offices. The public spaces will be constructed by a simple structure of streets and blocks. Mixing of buildings height, buildings typology and creating a lively silhouette along the river. A common material supports the relationship between the buildings and grounds plane: the baked stone together with a huge open window, to make a better street atmosphere.
This area so far, in a development. Some of the individual houses is now in a construction. All the houses in the river were completely sold out and people having more and more interest to the area. Apart from the Nieuw Leyden, Stadswerven project is one of a good example Zelfbouw projects that shows the flexibility of the urban development.