A&G archive


a selection of tenders and competition entries

Amsterdam & Utrecht, NL


Like every architectural office we participate in tenders and other competitions. Sometimes this is an invited competition, sometimes this is an open competition. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. Losing is part of the game, but there is no reason to be shy about it. We proudly present to you a selection of our competition entries that didn’t make it.

GATEHOUSE (Houthaven Kopblok 0)

A competition entry (2014) for a residential block in the Houthaven, Amsterdam. Programme: 52 apartments.

A building placed on columns, we see it frequently in this city. This isn’t always experienced as a place where people feel comfortable and safe. There are two characteristics that define this experience: the height and the width of the underpass, and the social control in and around the underpass. Our proposition is not to make a building placed on columns, but a gatehouse with more expression and social control. Our purpose would be to create more ‘views’ on the public space.

Two directions from the urban setting interfere with Blok 0. One is the perpendicular direction from the main street that connects all the islands of the Houthaven. This direction doesn’t cross Blok 0 physically, but its sightline runs through the underpass. The second direction is the diagonal of the Dantzigerkade. This is a bicycle lane with Blok 0 as its entrance. From this point it connects all the islands of the Houthaven. We used both directions to create an expressive gate with extra height.

3D FACADE (Vanseijpensteijnkade)

A tender with BAM (2014) for a tower in the station area in Utrecht. Programme: 188 apartments and a commercial plinth.

Who enters Utrecht Central, sees this tower from afar: two mutually severed volumes rise up to 90 meters high. Underneath there is a plinth which separates the tower from the existing building on the quay. Together with the municipal office and the White Lady this is an almost un-Dutch part of the city of very high density.

Because of the noise caused by the trains, an individual conservatory is required for all dwellings. The concept for the facade is a 3D sculpture on the railway and Forum side. For people who pass by, whether they are travelling by train, walking across the Forum or cycling along the quay; the ever changing reflections of the glass facade gives them an interesting experience. Due to the different corners of the glass sculpture, are both the movements of the trains and the passing clouds visible. The back side of the conservatories are covered with glass doors and wood. This gives the building a warm colour from inside.


A tender with ERA contour and architectural office KettingHuls (2015) for a residential plot in IJburg, Amsterdam. AG designed 11 free standing split-level villas (200 m²) near the canal.

These dwellings are designed from inside out: the water view is the main principle of the design. Instead of making an orthoganal design, which leads to a direct orientation to the other side of the canal, we make a slight kink to let the inhabitants experience the length of the canal from inside their house. Another benefit of this intervention is the fact that the inhabitants can enjoy the evening sun from within their living room.

It is a great quality to experience the water from inside your house. There is no quay wall of 2 meters high, but a garden which descends towards the water: the dwellings are literally connected to the water. The descending of the garden is translated into a split-level dwelling; you only live one meter above the water. Another benefit of this intervention is the natural separation in the garden between a higher functional part with a storage and a space for your car and bikes, and a lower recreational part close to the water.

This post is also available in: NL

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