To build dense and at the same time ad quality in an already crowded city, that’s a complex assignment. But possible, if done intelligently. High density is a hot item at the moment in the Netherlands. For us, density has been an important theme since the founding of Tangram in the early 1990s. We have done a lot of research and organized exhibitions on this theme. During the meeting Dicht, Dichter, Dichtst (dense, denser, densest) – organized by Architectuurcentrum Aorta in Utrecht – we gave a glimpse into our design kitchen. We showed how we applied it to Galaxy Tower in Utrecht. This hotel and residential tower must connect to the business center of the city as well to a new-build residential area. The 90-meter high tower Galaxy functions as a link between these two different worlds. We created a metropolitan building with a warm, accessible appearance. What are the recipes?

5 design recipes

  1. heterogeneous environments
  2. mixing functions
  3. careful zoning from public to private
  4. all-round quality
  5. compactness: energy and ecology


These are the most important design recipes, but there are of course many more. In our book Splendid Compact NL there are about 40 of them.