Unity and diversity

urban and architectural plan for seven housing blocks with commercial space and a parking garage

Amsterdam, NL

114 apartments (49 - 208 m²)
6 row houses (158 m²)

1060 m² commercial/communal space

94 parking spaces
6 garage boxes


advisor installations:
DPA Cauberg-Huygen

advisor construction:
Goudstikker De Vries

Zeeburgereiland Amsterdam, NL

Blok 26

Blok 26 consists of seven buildings in total. There are three big apartment buildings orientated on the skate parc. Two blocks of row houses are placed on the side of the plot. Between the three big apartment buildings are two public courtyards enclosed by two portico blocks. The boundary between the public and private space is crystal clear. The ‘public contour’ of blok 26 is filled with private gardens of the row houses and portico blocks, and a communal garden in the middle. These gardens are placed on top of a parking garage with 100 parking spaces and individual storage space for the dwellings. On the ground level there are several commercial spaces, these will get a more social or communal use according to the concept of ‘shared living environments.’ ‘Living and sharing together’ is their mantra. The social cohesion of the entire neighbourhood will benefit from this concept.

There are two stepped housing blocks placed on both corners of the plot. All these apartments have a view on the parc. There is a subtle difference between the building mass and their architectural expression. Between these two buildings stands another stepped housing block, but this one is not 22 but 40 meters high. The setbacks of the middle block are facing the parc, while the setbacks of the corner-blocks are facing the side streets.

We placed behind the big apartment buildings two smaller portico blocks, and two blocks of family houses. The portico blocks have their own communal rooftop terrace. The family houses have a big living area with a spacious garden on the ground floor, and the smaller first and second floor is used for sleeping.

The seven buildings form an abundant and layered composition. The joyful sculpturality is strengthened by their materials and colours. For the window frames are different colours of andonized aluminium used. The high building in the middle is characterized by its bands of white concrete with a bamboo print. The closed space between these bands is filled with white, which have pink and red accents. The bricks are stacked in a tile connection. The most dominant material of the other buildings is a patchwork of yellow bricks, these are also stacked in a tile connection. The window openings of the corner blocks is accentuated with a white concrete frame.

Blok 26 has a high variety of dwelling types and sizes. In the high rise are family apartments of one or two floors. These are combined with more luxurious apartments for empty- nesters and smaller apartments for singles and couples. The portico blocks are filled with studios for starters. These are standing between the two blocks of family houses. Blok 26 will be a home for ‘Amsterdammers’ with very different housing requirements.


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