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Housing Complex on Ijburg

A mountain village at the water. Block 65b is on the east bank of Haveneiland, where the city canal runs into the IJmeer. This canal separates block 65b from 65a, a block designed by Attika Architekten as a huge mountain with spacious terraces that recede like the steps of a ziggurat. Block 65b owes its village-like character to the detached small-scale buildings that are connected with one another by walkways and form an open block with an intimate enclosed garden and a small harbour. The two blocks combine to form an unusual landscape entity that is the sum total of various dwellings and outdoor spaces.

The structure of Block 65b and the various terraces yield a striking combination of urban density and an openness towards the city and the landscape. The tension between visibility and privacy plays an important role for the residents of this ensemble. The 23 apartments, 2 maisonettes and single penthouse have therefore been so designed that it is always possible to escape from the gaze of your neighbours while at the same time feeling that you are part of an urban community. Most of the apartments have three or even four outer walls, which makes them seem like detached homes.

A careful harmonisation of the use of materials and colours has been achieved between blocks 65a and 65b. For instance, the bricks of block 65b are from the assortment of 65a. In both blocks a continuous concrete beam marks the floors, with a different colour for each block. The result is a built ensemble characterised by both coherence and diversity.

23 apartments, 2 dwellings, 1 penthouse, an inner garden and small harbour
Jan Vrijmanstraat, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
November 2010
Amvest woningen NOVA with Lingotto Vastgoed
Inner garden: Parklaan landscape designers
Project architect: Jasper Grool
Collaborators: Olivier Langejan, Keika Sato
Floor Area:
5.040 m2
Building costs:
7.400.000 euro

Photography: Jeroen Musch

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