The 20-floor building in Blok 6 of the Overtoomse Veld is a part of the densifying plan for the Westelijke Tuinsteden [‘Garden Cities’], an area originally developed in the 1960s in Amsterdam West. The architectural expression of the new building, designed in collaboration with Office Haratori, is inspired by the post-war reconstruction architecture of the surrounding neighbourhood.
Characterised by abundant outdoor spaces and horizontal lines that highlight volume and accent the height of the adjacent buildings, the facade is built up out of prefab concrete elements in rhythms that scale across two or four floors. This anchors the building in its context, with a sense of proportioned order that emphasises plasticity and texture – as opposed to a simple stacking of single floors.
A difference with the surrounding residential buildings is this building does not have any structural walls between the different apartments. Instead, it has a load-bearing façade. As a result, the layout and use can be adjusted in the future – giving the building the potential to have a long lifespan.
For this apartment building with 174 subsidised rentals for starters, the housing cooperative De Key had the ambition to develop a special building with a high living quality. Enabling more and larger openings for daylight, the apartments in the building are organised in the width instead of, the more usual, in the depth. The smart layout of these compact homes allows for a variety of living zones. In short, the challenge became the result: small-scale apartments of unique high-quality.