Construction year: 2009
Architect(s): Wiel Arets Architects
Address: Jan van Zutphenstraat 299, 1069 RR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Latitude/Longitude: 52.3503095, 4.8008029
In Osdorp, southwest of Amsterdam, major changes took place to transform a vacant zone into a residential district connected to the existing housing area alongside it. One part of the residential district is a public garden, Jan van Zutphenplantsoen, where the four towers stand along a newly created water-park. All four towers are sited according to the given urban footprint and take up the maximum envelope, giving a total of 390 apartments evenly distributed over 11 levels.
Bringing a large number of units to the marketplace at once, the project questions the stacked repetition customary in such developments. The plan allows for a high degree of interchangeability of layouts so as to offer a diversity of apartment types. A central core and a number of strategically positioned service shafts enable the different types to mirror and shift not only with regard to each other but also in terms of the spatial configuration within one apartment. Each unit has a patio that can open over the whole length creating a bright, covered outdoor space. Because of its position within the apartment the living space, which already seems wider than it is, can be enlarged physically by folding away the dividing glass. In some instances a double-height space breaking though the stacked levels extends the living space vertically.
Three overlaid patterns create an elevation that conveys the internal organization to the outside world. First, an aluminum cladding indicates the separation between the apartments. Second, the mirroring concept of the plan results in a playful façade pattern ranging between alteration and iteration, between standardizing and individualizing. Third, the twofold elements bring about a subtle discontinuation within the unitized surface.
The towers share an underground parking facility lit and ventilated by four enormous voids. By vegetating the roofs of the parking facilities, the complex is made part of the adjoining public garden whose pleasant atmosphere is drawn into the glazed entrance lobbies. As the parking strip and entrance level are less wide than the main mass of the buildings, the cantilevered towers overhang adjacent conditions, both street and water.