Amsterdam Apartment Building Uses Openness as a Design Concept

Feb. 25, 2009

The Westerdok apartment building in Amsterdam, which has just been completed with a total surface of 64,583 square feet, contains 46 apartments and a daycare center. Each apartment has a balcony of varying depths which stretch as bands along the entire façade, offering varied outside spaces and views over the western docklands of Amsterdam. The minimal amount of materials used (glass, steel and concrete), results in maximum openness for the façade. The floor-to-ceiling glass façade can be fully opened and contrasts with the other buildings within the so called ‘VOC Cour’ port redevelopment that are mainly made of brick.

The urban plan is a closed city block with buildings of differing heights surrounding a central court. After two earlier urban plans failed, the client O.M.A. (Ontwikkelings Maatschappij Apeldoorn) has, in fact, determined the current urban plan. MVRDV, a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based architecture firm, designed the project. The building is located inside the court with one façade facing the waterfront of the Westerdok. The project started in 2004 and is currently one of the nominees for the Amsterdam Architecture Award.

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