‘Buurt 9’ (Neighbourhood 9) forms part of the garden cities west of Amsterdam. It consists of 174 standard small housing units, located in three L-shaped buildings and positioned next to a small park. The new design relocates the housing into one compact but impressive volume thereby conserving more space for the park. The proportions of the outline for the block, 135 m long by 34 m high and 34 m deep, could be considered as mansion-like in relation to the even more spacious park. A new ‘country estate’ arises that adds character to the park.
The programme includes five towers that are sandwiched between a large, raised communal patio and a series of rooftop penthouses. This creates an open and airy block, and offers different views from all directions. The semi-public patios is raised so that its overlooks the park. The garden offers protection from rain and wind, secured access, and more intimate spaces and playgrounds. It will be used more frequently and by different people than the park. This area becomes a central space for the inhabitants, an outdoor ‘living room’. This idea is accentuated by the use of soft furniture, decorative walls, ceiling and floor finishes, plants, and ‘chandeliers’.
The towers are positioned in such a way that they do not block views from the neighbourhood to the park. They also allow all of the apartments a view to the park and an orientation to the sun. This is achieved by perforating the roof plate in three places. The perforations are repeated at the ground floor, forming two courtyards that offer light, view and access to the apartments on the first level. With these techniques, the Parkrand building adds both more ‘garden’ and more ‘city’ to the developing Western Garden Cities of Amsterdam. It continues in the optimistic architectural tradition that characterizes the history of these neighborhoods.
The semi-public outdoor space is conceived as series of courtyards which function as an extension of the park and offer the residents a kind of ‘holiday from home’, explains interior designer Richard Hutten. Once the three courtyards became the ‘kitchen’, the ‘living room’ and ‘children’s room’, the facades became wallpaper. Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum, the oldest ceramic manufacturer of the Netherlands, was asked to propose solutions for cladding these internal façades of the buildings. The basic glaze had to be white but not perfect, and the pattern had to be subtly distinguishable. During the production of twenty test samples, it appeared that on some bricks the glaze had shrunk so much that the bare surface became visible. MVRDV decided to make use of these irregularities, which led to the development of a ‘drip glaze’. The result is a unique and highly textured surface adding a pattern to the façade which changes according to the incidence of light. The signposting designed by graphic designers Studio Thonik was integrated into the white surface of the glazed façade by means of stencils and transfers.
Het Oosten / Kristal
Jaap van Dijk
Martijn van der Ban
W.M.B. (Technical Architect)
Pieters Bouwtechniek (Structure)
Cauberg Huygen (Services and Building Physics)
Richard Hutten (Furniture)
Ballast Nedam Bouw Midden
Rob ‘t Hart
Claire Bennie (Image 11)
Doctor H. Colijnstraat 666, 1067 CP Amsterdam, Netherlands