Presentation on Amsterdam East Harbor Redevelopment / Hi-density housing
Amsterdam East-Harbor High density housing area (Approx. 1990-2000)
Partial map of Amsterdam Downtown showing concentric canals and radial layout,designed and constructed in the 17th century (the “Golden Century”).
Typical canal-house 17th century, with stepping order in sizes of stories, and aseparation between a ‘front’ and a ‘back’ house.
• Design for canal-’rowhouses’ for rent (1642) by one of Amsterdam’s most famous architects of those days, Philips Vingboons, for a charity institution (‘gasthuis’).
• Design for ‘canal-rowhouses’ for rent by Architect Vingboons (1652), again for a charity institution.
Then, probably one of the first in it’s kind, around 1673 a 298 units socialhousing project was designed by Philips Vingboons, in commission for 3charity institutions in the city.
• The houses were designed for a particular kind of craftspeople, weavers, in an effort to bring a new impulse to the declining economy for the weavers inAmsterdam.
• Photo (left) and engraving (right) of design for Vingboons’ ‘Weavershomes’.
• In the 1920’s a social housing project consisting of approx. 300 units with general facilities and shops was designed by famous Architect J.J.P. Oud for the “Kiefhoek” in Rotterdam. Oud was a functionalist and member of “De Stijl”.• The 2-story, 3-bedroom units were meant for families, and were based on 4 meter wide x 7 meter long (13’-4” x 23’-0” approx.) bays. The economy of plan, the neighborhood layout, the new construction materials and the overall control in Architectural treatment and style, make it a significant project.
• Back to Amsterdam, here of the eighties, and the canalhouses; a modern ‘infill’ along the river the ‘Amstel’ (from which the city derives its’ name; a ‘dam in the Amstel’) by Dutch Architect (Cees) Dam & Partners. Note the narrower canal-houses to the right.
• Project areas in Eastern Harbour area; Java, Sporenburg & Borneo ‘islands’ (from top to bottom), named after islands in the Dutch colonies in the East-Indies.• Java was developed first, based on a ‘grand boulevard’ type of scheme to the East and ‘City-block with canals and bridges’ to the West, designed by Dutch Architect Sjoerd Soeters. It features many modern takes on canalhouses.
Project area for ‘Borneo & Sporenburg’ after a design by Dutch Landscape and Urban Design firm ‘West 8’. Theplan is based on a 13’-4” grid, on which 3 (and some 4-story) housing blocks form an ‘ocean’ of row-houses, andis strategically cut by diagonals to introduce sightlines, landscaping and orientation points. Most of the 3-(and 4-)story row-houses are for sale, while two of the big blocks contain mostly apartments for rent. The overall densityachieved compares to Rd-30. The chart shown above lists all the architects who were assigned to design aparticular ‘block’ or part of it. It pretty much has become a ‘sample menu’ for the top of modern architecture inHolland, with only a few exceptions for foreign Architects; Miralles & Tagliabue Architectes Associates fromBarcelona, and Steven Holl from the US.
• View from the South towards the North-East, looking at Borneo, with one of the three ‘superblocks’, by Dutch Architect Koen van Velsen.
• Looking North-West to Borneo, with nearby high-rise (not part of the project) towering over the ‘ocean’ of row-houses.
• At this particular point there are several relationships in the Architecture to the water, as exemplified by the ’open facades’ with balconies, facing the waterfront.
• The facades strongly express the initial concept to alternate the built bays with ‘open’ bays. Although they all got ‘filled in’, here it is done in a way that suggests openness, allowing for light and green to enter outdoor spaces.
• This superblock is by the Dutch Architect firm ‘Architecten Cie’. In the foreground, 3 story row-houses with carports and roof terraces.
• This block of row-houses by Architect Van Herk & De Kleijn features 2 levels of houses, with a parking garage half below grade (on other side; see section next slide).
• Wedge-shaped units on the lower levels, have their entry off an outdoor court, and relate back to the street on the other side of the block, while the upper units are accessed through an upper level ‘half-outdoor’ street, and have ellipsical penthouses with specific views through slot-like windows.
• This is at one of the ‘ends’ of the blocks, where they face North and East wards, with spectacular views of the IJ and the ships that come thru. This block features an outdoor alley inside the block, giving access to individual garages. It is designed by “De Architecten Groep”. The specific location gives rise to spectacular glass volumes hanging off the structure and full width balconies (in this case the units use one side as their main front elevation instead of the narrow side. (See plans on next slide)
• The alley in the block is used on the upper levels for balconies and bringing in natural light. The width of the blocks averages between 80’-0” and 102’-4” approximately, so in the floor plans extensive use is made of patio’s, skylights and roof terraces, to make up for the relative lack of ground floor level outdoor space.
• A very unique design was delivered by the Spanish Architects Miralles & Tagliabue AA; it seems as if a stack of two units wants to ‘free’ itself more or less from the massive blocks of row-houses.
• It is one of the very few exceptions in the plan where it was allowed for the Architects to go up more than the general 3-story height.
• They ‘squeeze’ 3 units on the side where the cars are parked, and backdoor entrances are located. The tower houses two units on top of each other, with separate staircases wrapping around each other. The organic layouts and facades are reminiscent of work of Gaudi, also from Barcelona.
• A walk thru the area shows a variety of street elevations, with a lot of repetition, but very often with a ‘musical’ quality to it, in terms of rhythm and patterns….
• One street or block has been sold off per parcel, with the option to have your ‘own architect’. This has resulted in the most poetic and varied modern take on the historic canal-houses, as well as a showcase for many even more extreme concepts than shown in the rowhouses.
• Home is where the harbour is…………. end of presentation