DB55 is a former timber warehouse, situated in the Houthavens Amsterdam, an industrial area surrounded by new offices and residential buildings. The design of the building revolves around four pillars.
1. BLENDED USE
DB55 is a place for work, leisure, events, sports, and even a children's playground. In this blended venue, every square metre is used four times: 1,100m2 gets the value of 4,400m2. For maximum flexibility, we kept the free height of the building largely intact, avoided using screws or glue where possible and placed plants and furniture on wheels.
DB55 is a circular building where the supply determines the design. The floor finish comes from former trains and wooden planks that served as roof boarding for homes. The concrete and glass walls were recycled, and all lighting was overstock, product run-out or re-furbished. The tiling of the sanitary areas was leftover from bankruptcies. The audiovisual and kitchen equipment is all second-life, as is 70% of all furniture.
3. FROM THE INSIDE OUT
We designed DB55 from the inside out, based on the users' needs. We created facade openings where daylight and views are needed, different from where you would expect it based on the facade design. Connection with nature, sunlight, visibility and people ensures an improved working environment and cross-pollination between the people in this blended venue.
Designed from a biophilic perspective, we created an organic building attuned to the human scale, enhancing the connection between nature and people. The lightweight roof, abundant daylight and large glass entrance door allow for experiencing changing seasons and weather conditions. Moreover, the integral design of natural elements, such as lots of greenery, ecological materials, and natural shapes and tones, strengthens the connection with our natural environment.
Experiential design: Nachtlab Circular furniture: Furnify Green Architecture: Makers of Sustainable Spaces (MOSS) Photography: Niels Vlug – Sherine Zwaga