Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In a landscape that used to be dominated by shipbuilding yards, dry docks, and mighty cranes, the Doors housing complex designed by Space Encounters and DS landscape architects serves as a beacon for Amsterdam’s Buiksloterham new future.
The development is transforming the neighborhood into a vibrant part of the city where living, working, playfulness, and sculptural expression come together.
The Doors is part of the dynamic masterplan Buiksloterham City-Plots, which was one of the first transformation plans in this area of Amsterdam.
The plan consists of larger building block ensembles that together form a dense and mixed-use neighborhood.
The urban integration of the building into the adjacent developments refines the architectural appearance and the spatiality of the design.
The Doors houses 12 apartments that face the Tolhuis-canal and overlook the IJ River.
The project’s name is inspired by the possibilities that the building offers for functional differentiation.
Each apartment has two front doors, enabling the residents to set up a business right beside their dwelling and in the future, for instance, let growing-up kids ‘live on their own’ or provide care for elderly parents that live next door.
As a result, the building is a compact 3D puzzle with dwellings of different shapes and sizes that have floor plans which are either deep or wide, or even a combination of both.
Generous outside spaces strongly shape the architectural expression of the project.
The building’s sculptural appearance comes from its stacked, tripartite composition of horizontal concrete and glass bands, and vertical aluminum frames, resulting in a dynamic play between the verticality of the volume and the horizontality of the facade.
The rhythm, scale, and tactility of the design are enhanced by the concrete structure on the facade that has integrated pots for plants and flowers.
While the top, heavier-looking part provides shade for the transparent midsection, which connects to the activities on the street, the ground floor facade is more closed to create a balance between transparency and privacy.
The fully glazed facades have generous sliding doors and windows, while the plinth is finished with glazed white tiles and Ceppo di Gré natural stone elements that have been precisely detailed.
At its core, the building has been outfitted with a lush garden and a generous chocolate-brown spiral staircase.
The stairwell atrium has been adorned with whimsical trapezoidal windows that visually cross-connect the different levels and apartments.
Additionally, the entrance lobby features an impressive 14-meter-long artwork by Frederik Næblerød with planetary animals that welcome residents and visitors.
Project: The Doors Housing Complex
Architects: Space Encounters
Landscape Design: DS landscape architects
Design Team: Gijs Baks, Joost Baks, Jelmer van Zelm, Vincent van Leeuwen, Carlos Callejo, and Jordy Vos
Structural Engineers: Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs
Photographers: Marcel van der Burg