Article source: BETA office for architecture and the city
In the early 2000s, the Ru Paré School was emblematic of the social problems facing the Amsterdam borough of Slotervaart. The Ru Paré is now the neighborhood’s living room and accommodates an extraordinary social experiment.
A NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
In response to austerity measures in the Dutch economy, a social entrepreneur developed a model for solidarity in challenging neighborhoods. Inhabitants are offered tax advice, computing or language classes in return for community service; at the building level receding funding is supplemented with profitable start-ups.
Kolenik creates multifunctional luxury apartment in Amsterdam.
‘A typical Amsterdam apartment’ is how the interior designer Robert Kolenik describes this apartment in Amsterdam city centre, which comprises the upper three floors of a building. Having lived and worked abroad for years, the owner asked Kolenik to come up with an interior design for his apartment. ‘Homes in the city centre are limited in terms of size’, the designer explains, ‘so the challenge is to create functional space that retains a luxurious, homely feel.’
Amsterdam North is rapidly developing into a diverse and desirable district of Amsterdam. In a special location in the heart of this neighbourhood, Houben & Van Mierlo Architecten have designed the renovation of two old ‘potato barns’ into contemporary residential properties for two families, including an in-house photo studio for the famous photography duo Scheltens & Abbenes.
The collective DIY-housing project Amstelloft consists of spacious loft-apartments. Inspired by dwellings in old schools, churches and warehouses: flexible space with double height which can be turned into living spaces ranging from open lofts to four-bedroom-apartments. The future inhabitants were intensely involved in the realization benefiting the pronounced posibilities and character of the design.
In recent years, investor/owner Bouwinvest and real estate developer Top Vastgoed transformed the outdated buildings along the Amsterdam Nieuwendijk 196 and Damrak 70 and 80 into hyper-modern offices of international retailers such as Zara, JD Sports, and C&A. At the end of this year Primark will open their Dutch flagship store with its entrance in the Beurspassage. In total this project, known as Nowadays, will encompass an impressive 27.500 m2. This is an extraordinary large project for Amsterdam’s retailcenter, and – for Dutch standards – an enormously large and involved renovation of retail property in the city center. The completion of Nowadays, with its closing act the opening of the Beurspasssage and its artwork, will take place by the end of this year. Bouwinvest will have taken its final step in the largest Dutch inner city redevelopment of recent years.
Set in De Hallen, a former tram depot in Amsterdam west, Kanarie Club pays tribute to the old trams with its renewed design. Digging deep into the history of the building, Studio Modijefsky has created a design with strong references to the past. As a tram depot there were several activities taking place in the space giving service to the run down trams, such as electricity, paint, wood and metal work. These skills and the tools and work spaces they require, inspires the material and colour palette of the new interior and are means to divide the new restaurant space into different zones.
In designing a new European HQ for PVH Europe: Calvin Klein & Tommy Hilfiger, we were inspired by the waterfront location. The former port turned creative hub shares the IJ with two contemporary landmark buildings: the EYE film museum and Muziekgebouw aan t ’IJ. We realized that our own building could complete a stunning architectural triangle.
Located between the dense city and the vast landscapes on the edge of Amsterdam, the new Sluishuis is shaped by its complex surroundings at once close to large infrastructure and to small-scale urban settlements. The classical courtyard building is revitalized by two transformations; it fully embraces the idea of living on the water and appears different from every vantage point. Toward the water the block is lifted up, forming a large opening that brings water from the IJ Lake into the courtyard and brings daylight and views to the complex’s inner apartments. Toward the neighboring urban district the block steps down like a cascade of landscaped terraces, creating a natural transition from cityscape to smaller-scale, natural surroundings. “Having spent my formative years as an architect in Holland at the end of the 20th century, it feels like a homecoming to now get to contribute to the architecture of the city that I have loved and admired for so long. Our Sluishuis is conceived as a city block of downtown Amsterdam floating in the IJ Lake, complete with all aspects of city life. Towards the city, the courtyard building kneels down to invite visitors to climb its roof and enjoy the panoramic view of the new neighborhoods on the IJ. Toward the water, the building rises from the river, opening a gigantic gate for ships to enter and dock in the port/yard. A building inside the port, with a port inside the building.” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG. A promenade with public programs winds around the building and continues into the water, forming an archipelago of islands with houseboats, a sailing school, and floating gardens. A public passage climbs the cascading terraces of the building, serving as a small rooftop street that eventually loops onto the very top of the building to create a viewing platform over the IJ Lake. The passage will not only create a destination for visitors and neighbors, but will connect the residential units to each other and create a unique three-dimensional community between the residents of the building. “The world famous urban environment of Amsterdam was created by the fusion of water and city. The new Sluishuis is born of the same DNA, merging water and perimeter block and expanding the possibilities for urban lifeforms around the IJ.” Andreas Klok Pedersen, Partner, BIG. The silhouette of Sluishuis will change as one moves around the building. At one vantage point it appears as the bow of a ship that reflects the water below; at another a vertical green community that invites visitors to engage directly with it; and finally as a true urban block with street access and city liveliness that is to be enjoyed by residents, neighbors, and the rest of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is, today, a major european city consolidated on an important architectural tradition. A strong sense of identity and belonging is very characteristic of both the city and the country -defined by its permanent fight between the sea and the territory conquered to it- and that reflects on a generalized concern over the quality of public spaces and their collective enjoyment.
Hence, the Amsterdam Children’s Playschool starting point was the idea of having a children daycare center as a device to qualify an abandoned public space.
Designed over an abandoned dock, this proposal combines classrooms with exterior patios, with different uses and diverse degrees of privacy (some more public functioning as plazas, others semi-private with flexible uses, others totally private for the exclusive use of the daycare center).
The Erick van Egeraat office tower is part of an expressive high rise urban development, south of Amsterdam, named Zuid As. Located in the proximity of the city centre and with direct access to the urban network of public transport and highways, the project incorporates the potential of this unique location. The ambitious programming of a lively, high-density mixture of offices, housing, retail and public space, designed by nine international architects, all contribute to an exceptional development of metropolitan scale.