Rotterdam, NL | Amsterdam, NL
In this part of Rietlanden, that is separated by only the width of a road from Sporenburg, the rigid street layout of the Borneo and Sporenburg developments continues, as does the accompanying strict separation between the public space of the street and private domain of the home.
Typologically, the architecture is much more varied, with different dwellings for each price and target group category. As such, the project is an urban microcosm. The dwellings are accommodated in three blocks which together make up two rows. The facades betray little of the typological diversity or of the spatial complexity inside the individual dwellings, some of which even boast a rooftop unit.
The differences in window sizes and facade composition are easily overlooked in passing. The overall impression is dictated largely by the multiplicity of windows and the reflections from the glass and the aluminum window frames that stand out from the surface of the facade. It is an impression that underscores the closeness and urban density of these blocks. The large areas of glass set up a direct relationship between dwelling and street. In their extroversion, these dwellings are the very opposite of the generally inward-looking dwellings on Borneo and Sporenburg.
The rows come to an abrupt halt at the edge of the park. Built into these largely blind head elevations is a flock-like configuration of 128 nesting boxes for swallows, an ecologically sound alternative to the egalitarian distribution among all the dwellings originally requested.
As a succession of houses, the architecture is an abstract, contemporary echo of nineteenth-century speculative building, in the course of which individual town houses were welded together into large, urban blocks. As in those days, when a window tax was still levied, some of the window openings were made and immediately filled in again. At these places the building has been tattooed with photos illustrating the area’s industrial past.
Location: Amsterdam, NL
My Role: Architect