Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
The Tree Garden in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by SNITKER/BORST/ARCHITECTEN
May 17th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
The municipality of New West (a town district of Amsterdam) is already for years simultaneously on multiple locations working on a large scale renewal of the Westen Garden Cities of Amsterdam. In this framework De Bomentuin is a small scale project, that is fitted in the neighborhood with modesty and carefulness. The project is realized on the site of the Slotermeerhof, a complex of duplex apartments belonging to the residential home for the elderly, Slotermeeroord from 1963. The small dwellings were demolished in order to make place for more spacious and comfortable apartments and family houses.
The direct surroundings of the complex is a very beautiful green, park-like environment. The original buildings enfolded two public green courts with monumental trees.
The urban design has been made in a special way. The design is a co-production of the housing corporation Ymere, the municipality of New West, the residents of the demolished dwellings and the inhabitants of the neighborhood. De Bomentuin is the first project in the Western Garden Cities in which the inhabitants were so closely involved in the design of the urban layout.
In dialogue with the people from the neighborhood, the municipality and the client we’ve decided to preserve the original urban design. The new housing blocks were practically build on the same footprint as the old buildings. While the floor area was more than doubled, most of the existing trees could be preserved.
The new ensemble exists of two apartment buildings and two rows of family houses. The whole complex is made in three floors. Each floor is reflected by prefabricated concrete strips in the brickwork and by the horizontal lines of the balustrades. On the corners of the apartment buildings glass walls over the full height of the buildings accentuate the entrances and staircases. The apartment buildings are made with green sedum roofs.
The ground floor apartments and terraces are slightly raised from the garden level in order to optimize the view from these apartments to the green surroundings. The choice for brickwork, in combination with wood, concrete and the soft colors of the frames, make that the project is naturally fitted in the neighborhood. In this way the project forms a quiet background for the green surroundings.
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