To meet the ever-present demand for housing, Amsterdam is looking west once more. Over the coming twenty years, the post-war expansion into Garden City West is to be refurbished. In 1996, an international competition was held regarding a plot adjacent to the centre of the district. Its objective was to find new ways of dealing with the increasing density of the existing urban scheme. This project was the winning entry.
The brief for the relatively small piece of land (3,000 m²) was to build 112 apartments with parking space and 1,200 m² of commercial space. An important objective in the design was the creation of a high quality communal space within the building; a small public square to the southwest of the building was also left.
The stratified architecture reflects its interior functions. The first two layers (maisonettes, parking, commercial space, and storage) are clad in dark brick. On the third floor, a large communal garden is surrounded on three sides by apartments. The fourth side of the court has been cut back over a height of seven meters, creating a huge balcony overlooking the new public square six meters below. From the fourth floor up, dwellings of various types are clad in enamelled glass and untreated timber.
The district is characterised by industrially made, modernist blocks with a total of around 3,000 identical dwellings. In our project, we have included 26 different types of dwellings. Small garden maisonettes spread over two and three floors, bigger and smaller corridor duplexes, various varieties of gallery apartments, around-the-corner flats, and exceptionally high terrace houses make a welcome contribution to the bland choice on offer around the project.