The new area Amstelkwartier in Amsterdam has become a vibrant city neighborhood. The foundation of this area’s development lies in the middle of the financial crisis. Commercial real estate projects were put to an end, making municipality giving the possibility to private initiatives. Several do-it-yourself lots were released in the Welnastraat and three private individuals took their chance to not only realize a home for themselves, but also for their future neighbors and decided to constitute a real estate collective. Three do-it-yourself lots were merged to one collective building project.
Studio PROTOTYPE saw an opportunity to design a clear structure opposed to the diversity of design following the do-it-yourself initiatives in the street. This structure is distinctive in scale and materiality and a translation of the typological design of loft apartment. The residential houses are at the sun side of the building spaciously connected by means of a void. A central core enables an open living environment, in which multiple set-up principles are possible. The core has been remained as small as possible by placing the stairwells completely outside of the building, making them part of the balconies on the backyard side. This finding, of placing the stairswells on the outside of the façade, resulted in more open living space within the complete building contour.
By breaking up the structure at the plinth and the crown, the building opens up to the street and the view. The rhythm of the concrete façade emphasizes the loft apartments for which grand and high windows have been created, based on the maximum glass size of 5.40 meters. The windows give a framed view on the new developed neighborhood.
The concrete façade structure has been given multiple surface treatments, such as a surface with a coarse structure for the front façade penants. The penants are poured in traditional wooden molds. The deeper detailed concrete frames are treated to have a more smooth structure in order to create a more subtle difference in texture between coarse and smooth within the concrete materialisation.