Four office buildings on the Joan Muyskenweg in Amsterdam were transformed into a stylish and comfortable apartment complex overlooking the Amstel river and the new Amstelkwartier, and offering spectacular views of the city.
Client: Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling
Location: Joan Muyskenweg, Amsterdam
Architects: Ector Hoogstad Architecten
Engineering consultant: IMd Consulting Engineers
Building services and structural engineering: DWA
Contractor: Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling
Photography: Petra Appelhof, Fred Tigelaar
Committed to repurpose
Demolishing the original structures and building from scratch would probably have been much easier, and possibly cheaper. But the client, property development company Delta Lloyd Vastgoed, is committed to corporate social responsibility and sustainability, and felt that repurposing the buildings for residential use would correspond more with its commitment. The design and build team of Ector Hoogstad Architecten and contractor Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling was commissioned for this project, named “ENTER Amsterdam”.
The Amstelkwartier is a new district located along the Amstel river, and the first phase of its development saw the construction of a decent mix of local amenities, including a hotel, student housing and starter homes, private rented sector housing, owner-occupied homes and self-build plots. The focus now, particularly in the Overamstel neighbourhood, is on turning the area into a proper residential district. ENTER was the first step towards this ambition.
A brand new look
ENTER contains 191 apartments spread across two residential blocks, which we created by turning each pair of the old office buildings into single residential blocks and linking the two together with a new section featuring a communal roof terrace. The original facades were dismantled and preserved as urban mines for possible future projects. Window openings in the façade were enlarged from the base of the existing structures to the very top, and new brickwork, floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balconies were used to execute a complete facelift. The masonry for the new façade was selected to complement the riverside location in evoking the image of dockside warehouses of a bygone era. To lend texture and variety to the brickwork expanses, bricks are laid with a relief pattern of protruding and recessed courses and in a variety of bonding patterns.
The complex is “crowned” with an extremely lightweight structure comprising a rigid steel frame, lightweight reinforced concrete floors and timber-frame walls with ceramic facade cladding. This enabled the addition of three new storeys without the need to modify the existing structure, thereby facilitating the creation of a nine-storey apartment block within the height limits set by local zoning laws.
The high number of apartments required by the design brief meant finding creative and innovative ways to provide facilities sufficient to the expected needs of the residents. These include a digital concierge by BringMe, private parking and communal bicycle storage on the ground floor, and a fleet of resident-only electric vehicles to encourage sustainable mobility and discourage car ownership. Needless to say, the roofs are fitted with solar panels for sustainable and efficient energy generation.
Apartments vary from 50m2 to 110m2 and are all private rented sector homes. They include a mix of compact, smartly arranged two-room apartments and purpose-built co-living units (known as “friends apartments”). The top three storeys offer spacious three- and four-room apartments with large terraces and spectacular views of Amsterdam’s skyline.