Boathouses for Amsterdam


urban plan and architectural design for mixed use area in the centre of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, NL

70 houses
30 parking spaces
2300 m² commercial space
client: Heijmans Vastgoed
public space: Hosper

Oostenburgereiland Amsterdam, NL

Wiener & Co.

The site is a forgotten plot along a canal in the centre of Amsterdam with a history of factories (Wiener & Co) and before that, shipyards of the Eastern India Shipping Co.

In the middle of the economic crisis that was pushing the Amsterdam housing market into stagnation, developer Heijmans and architect Arons en Gelauff teamed up to create a project that will sail them out of the doldrums.

The architects propose a row of canal houses to target Amsterdam boat-owners. At the streetside these are fronted with warehouse-styled loft apartments that also may do well. Between the canal houses and the loft apartments, a nice and quiet courtyard is placed.
The historic structure of wharves and slipways on this site inspires the lay-out of the urban plan. On the side of the waterfront the built volumes which are placed perpendicular on the canal, are interrupted with two public spaces. These are at the exact location of the historic slipways. One of these public spaces gives the dwellers direct access to the canal for swimming and recreation. The rows of housing gradually step back to give this space focus and wide-angle views upon the water.

Below the project an underground parking garage liberates the public space from cars. At the site of the historic shipyard next to the bridge we create a public pocketpark.

The apartments in the two brick buildings are constructed in brown brick with tiny gold spots with white glazed brick details. With a slightly altering roof contour, the placement of different windows and details we scale down the project along the street. Big outside spaces both on ground level and on the cantilevered balconies fill the courtyard with a lively residential atmosphere.

The architecture of the single family houses along the water is inspired by “shipping materials” like metals and untreated timber panelling. The canal houses are clad alternately in gold and zinc. Set within the distinct roof contour is a roof terrace, complemented by a large terrace on ground floor level that hovers just above the water. All canal houses get a private landing place for mooring their vessel that they can access right from their living room.

The eyecatching project soars to a sales success in the middle of the crisis in 2013. Wiener & Co. was completed in 2016 and won the municipal award for best Amsterdam residential building in 2017.


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