The design team of the municipality of Amsterdam for De Sluisbuurt wanted to test the rules for the development of the neighborhood in four workshops. Central to this were the translation of the specific spatial qualities of the location to the quality for living in the Sluisbuurt and on the IJ banks and the development of starting points for a new, Amsterdam-like typology of blocks and towers.
Together with Urbanext, we participated in the workshops, with six other architects, to work out two clusters each within the plan as a study area for allotment. The focus was on studying possible volumes and spatial quality at neighborhood- and street level. As a result of this study, scale models of the clusters in the subsurface of the location were placed together.
The margin strip proposed by the municipality has been our starting point for thinking about adding typical Amsterdam qualities to architecture. The design of the dwellings responds to the margin strip and strengthens the possibilities for using the margin strip. At all levels (also on roofs and the floors in towers) in the plan, future residents are invited to appropriate the outdoor space. This offers opportunities for meeting, and for involvement in, and supervision of, public space. This makes the Sluisbuurt no anonymous tower environment.
Other principles we used to support and strengthen the qualities of the area:
– skinny towers
– compact and varied blocks
– clear transitions public / private
– add small scale on ground floor level
– variation in floor heights
– green and accessible roof gardens