Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Part of a new, innovative urban concept that enables sustainable high-density residential buildings to use space, energy, and materials efficiently, Domūs Houthaven by Shift Architecture Urbanism with Flux Landscape Architecture and Blom Interieurs puts social contact above ownership.
Domūs Houthaven is a residential ensemble featuring 235 smart compact apartments and an array of shared facilities on a plinth of commercial spaces.
The complex is designed as a family of interconnected blocks surrounding a raised communal courtyard.
The interconnectedness and the generous collective facilities encourage interaction among residents.
In Domus, you live alone, or as a couple, without being alone.
The ensemble forms the keystone of the superblock on the northwest edge of Amsterdam’s former harbor area Houthaven, which is in the process of being developed into a new residential neighborhood.
Domūs Houthaven is the first realization of Domūs Living, an innovative urban concept that enables sustainable high-density residential buildings that use space, energy, and materials efficiently.
The concept targets the growing group of one- and two-person households that put social contacts and experiences above ownership.
They are open to different forms of sharing, not only because it is sustainable, but also because it is fun and valuable. For example, it prevents loneliness.
The volumetric design of the project follows the principle of unity in diversity.
The individual blocks – with their own grain size, facade rhythm, and color- feature distinct apartment typologies and access.
This differentiation enables identification with one’s own home within the large-scale complex and reduces the project to a scale consistent with the characteristic grain size of the new urban district.
To strengthen the cohesion between the different building volumes, they share the same architectural DNA.
The choice of rational brick volumes with generous facade openings and robust detailing refers to the industrial character of the harbor area.
All residents have access to a multifunctional work- and living room next to the communal garden and a spacious cooking studio with a roof terrace on the fifth floor. The work- and the living room form the social heart of the residential ensemble.
The space is open and flexible in character and at the same time homely.
Four large free-standing pieces of furniture create different places and allow multiple activities for small and large groups simultaneously without affecting the continuity of the space.
People work, eat, play and hang out. The roof pavilion, accessible via the air bridge, houses a cooking studio and a guesthouse.
The cooking studio is equipped with a professional cooking island and seating for groups both inside and outside on the roof terrace.
In the belly of the building, under the communal garden, is a generous bike shed for nearly 500 bikes and a double-level parking garage with 70 parking spaces including 5 for shared cars.
The compact apartments ranging between 43 and 60m2 are surprisingly spacious due to the smart living core that incorporates, besides a kitchen, bathroom, storage, and installations, an alcove bed.
The functions are modular and configured spatially in different ways in the various apartment typologies, with each module having its own color.
This gives the furniture a sculptural effect that underlines and enhances the specific character of each apartment type.
The polychrome furniture piece contrasts with the concrete ceiling that has been left untreated.
Project: Domūs Houthaven Residential Complex
Architects: Shift Architecture Urbanism
Landscape Architects: Flux Landscape Architecture
Interior Contractor: Blom Interieurs
General Contractor: Van Wijnen
Client: Domūs Houthaven, CBRE Investment Management
Photographers: Rene de Wit (Exteriors) and Pim Top (Interiors)