High density housing in Amsterdam
Studio AAAN and Common Practice were given the opportunity to develop a housing scheme for housing corporation Stadgenoot. A large block was to be built on Block 8, one of the plots within the larger urban redevelopment plan of Oostenburgereiland and which was perhaps one of the most challenging because of extreme limitations: a narrow stretch of land along the blind side elevation of a large public parking garage, seemingly unsuitable for housing.
While the urban plan asked for separate apartment buildings of different heights and contrasting facades, the budget asked for a dense programme in a repetitive structure. In the proposed solution the mass of the block is divided into three apartment buildings, with each their own proper entrance hall and a limited number of apartments per staircase. A townhouse is introduced to disrupt the length of the block and limit the number of elevators to three. On the outside the facades are organised into a family of repetitive yet diverse grids. On the inside, the collective nature of the block is revealed. Three gates lead to a tall and narrow courtyard with white facades, a gravel floor and solitary trees, inspired by hidden courtyards in the old city of Amsterdam. The shared courtyard connects the dwellers to the collective bicycle storages and provides rays of reflected morning and evening light to the back sides of the apartments.