Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
WSTLND in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by NL Architects
June 16th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: NL Architects
The Westlandgracht is a relatively unknown, but beautiful canal in the West of Amsterdam. It is located close to the World Fashion Center but still within the ring road A10. This canal has a surprising characteristic: at one point it expands into a giant pond, or a small lake. Our client discovered that the zoning law allows for a small restaurant to be build here. A strategic location: wonderful scenery combined with infrastructure. It is positioned at one of the radial roads from the center into the western expansions.
The pavilion is positioned on a circular terrace at the edge of water and land, kind of hovering over it. In principle it is a cylindrical structure (for good pavilions are round). Three lens shaped lumps are excavated from main volume. These ‘arm pits’ create terraces with specific views over the water with different orientation towards the sun. One articulates the main entrance. The outline is facetted. Each straight segment measures 98 centimeter.
The client had one special request: he wanted an apartment to be included in the building. But it should remain ‘invisible’. The zoning law prescribed a maximum of two stories. Placing the apartment on top of the restaurant has a consequence: the height of the restaurant becomes limited, intimate and as such acceptable for a small area, but not desirable for the entire place. By positioning the dwelling in the center of the restaurant and flipping up its outdoor space the ground floor becomes higher towards the edge. From the center out the restaurant becomes lighter and more spacious. It opens up to the surrounding. The house is hidden in a ‘fat roof’. Since the inclination for each ‘ wing’ is constant and the lengths of the facades are different the glass surface differs in height from corner to corner. The apartment in the roof features three ‘patios’ with sloping floors, small hills that hopefully inspire planting. Perforations in the skin and a plateau at one tip will allow splendid views over the water.
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