Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Frantzen et al architecten designed Top-Up as an open building with very flexible apartment layouts: Top-Up is designed as a similar but improved version of the company’s previous project PATCH22.
Top-Up won a recent 2021 Green Good Design® Award from The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum.
Like in PATCH22, a lot of attention is given to the flexibility and adaptability of the building. The residents are able to choose any combination of floor areas into the apartment size they wish for, ranging from 25 m2 to 497 m2.
Innovations of PATCH22, including the use of hollow floors, removable top floors, and the lack of shafts in the apartments, are improved in Top-Up and allow piping and cabling to be connected horizontally to central shafts in the core. Therefore, the residents are completely free in designing their apartments’ layout, not just once but again any time in the future.
Compared to PATCH22, the division in developer and future residents’ responsibilities in Top-Up in building the structure and the infill has been improved.
In PATCH22, the hollow floor’s cavity was an integral part of the dividing floor, the legal barrier between two apartments, and the general contractor was responsible for building the ceiling part and top part of the floor.
In Top-Up, there will be a solid concrete floor to be built by the general contractor, and on top of it, the future residents have to build their own top floor with all the necessary installations.
To make sure that all legal demands are a regulatory procedure was designed with which all the individual contractors of the future residents have to comply.
Top-Up is a circular building. The technical design focused on creating a “circular” building, a building that can be dismantled in the future if there would be a need for it.
All building components can be salvaged without destructive demolition so that all building components can be re-used in future buildings.
Wherever it was possible, the company used bio-based materials, in most cases timber, one of the few naturally circular building materials. But because the layout and, therefore, the function of the building can change completely in the future, they expect that there will be no need to test the circular qualities of the building components in reality.
Moreover, the building is built on the foundations and first floor of a former industrial building present on the site, hence the name Top-Up.
The base building is literally topped up with an apartment building. It is a waste of culture to flatten out industrial areas and just replace them with newly build housing.
Keeping the remains of the former industrial building is a form of cultural circularity, keeping history alive in the revival of a city’s neighborhood.
Designers: Frantzen et al architecten
Client: Lemniskade Projecten