Houtsma Site: Neighbourhood Factory

Houtsma Site: Neighbourhood Factory

Marlies Rohmer
Amsterdam, Netherlands | View Map
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Houtsma Site: Neighbourhood Factory

Marlies Rohmer as Architects

The Bellamy neighbourhood in the Oud West district of Amsterdam was largely built in the nineteenth century. Its small-scale buildings give it a villagey character. Mixed functions, improved liveliness, public safety enhancements and a varied housing programme have helped reinforce the social structure. Close consultation with local residents resulted in a distinctive five-storey building – an inviting ‘neighbourhood factory’. The building’s plinth has a transparent character, with the ground floor occupied by small-scale business and workshop premises, a youth facility and a ‘grand café’ with a view of the water. The upper floors comprise a variety of dwelling types: one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, homes with extra facilities for elderly occupants, maisonettes and a penthouse with a roof terrace. Each dwelling has large folding glass windows which can be fully opened, uniting the outside space with the interior. The white concrete ‘shelves’, the large roof units and the steel escape stairway give the building a factory-like ambience. Executing all the building’s components in the same colour resulted in a restful, sturdy-looking overall design. With its factory look, the building harmonizes with the neighbourhood and refers back to its industrial antecendents.

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