The “Frame” project is the final block in the ‘Block 0‘-site in the development of the Houthavens area in Amsterdam. Divided in three steps, the Block 0 development forms the barrier between the existing site and the Houthavens area. The Kopblok represents the final stage in the development of Block-0 and forms the geometrical exception in the urban plan.
The building volume is based on the ‘classical’ order in the design of columns and tall buildings in architecture. The ‘basement’ is formed by a 6-metre high ‘plinth’ which houses public commercial functions. Above the building continues with 9 floors that form the middle part of the ‘column’ to end with the culmination of the building: an extraordinary floor that forms the coronation of the building in reference to the ‘capital’ of the classical column.
In this way, a differentiated pattern is achieved for the luxury apartments. The shaft is expressed through a subtle facade grid structure with deep window reveals and large glass surfaces, a strong building which is not directly legible as residential. The building consists of a volumetric and geometric ensemble, which forms the culmination of a collection of tall and short buildings built earlier on the narrow site.
As head of the plot, the building is visible on all sides, offering an ordered stone façade with large and deep glazed openings that frame views of the city and its harbours. The golden yellow hues and materiality of the façade strengthens the warm and intimate character of the building.
The result allows for a differentiated mixture of luxury apartments. The ‘shaft’ of the building is characterized by a subtle façade grid structure of deep window ridges and large glass windows contributing to this sturdy building that will not immediately reveal itself as a residential building. The building forms the culmination of a collection of building plots with differentiating heights on the narrow building strip.
As the termination of the block, the building is oriented on all sides and offers its residential units ‘framed views’ of the city and the harbour area of Amsterdam. The golden-bronze colours and ceramic material of the façade provide for a certain warmth and intimacy in the building’s appearance.
Location: Houthavens Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Program: Housing, commercial groundfloor
Design Team: Casper de Heer, Ralph van Mameren, Maikel Super, Joran Velsink