TOWERHOUSE densifying historical urban matrix

October 22, 2018

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axonometric view: Towerhouse Amsterdam

Miniature triangulated site, almost a crack in urban tissue, provides possibility for a custom developed, personalised urban living in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district. A kind of ‘Japanese’ house, hopefully the kind of Azuma’s Tokyo dwelling. Takemitsu Azuma’s private house is the ‘grandmother’ of all Tokyo’s pocket houses, densifying the urban tissue and making intelligent interpretations of the building codes to provide maximum spatial quality within compact area.

 

 

reference: Takamitsu Azuma, 1966, source http://www.socks-studio.com

In our proposal, the articulation of the built volume, densifies the historical urban matrix, but also allows glimpses into layers of time on the location by preserving visibility of the old side wall.  The sidewall gets framed by the new intervention and becomes the part of rich urban typologies in the street. Volume and openings are treated and detailed in an abstract manner, achieving an almost sculpture-like effect, which was so appreciated by the ‘Welstand’ – city’s beauty committee. The house plan makes use of the ‘thickest’ part of the triangular site and stretches over five floors. The fifth floor, hidden under the steep roofline, opens towards grand urban vistas over Amsterdam centre towards the IJ river.

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Each floor of the house contains varied viewlines, atmosphere and light condition. Each floor has one program only: study, kitchen, living, sleeping, top room. Diagonal views throughout the plan increase the spaciousness of the rooms and create dynamic play in-between the light and the shadow. Material of the facade, patinated zinc, is merging in with the colour of the street. The important detail i the facade articulation is the sharp connections between the window openings, visible in the (rainy) street view. Sliding panels at the entrance have simple perforation, geometrical with a twist. Twist also recreates the plan of the building plot in the corner section of the perforations.

above: characteristic floorplan

below: detail of the facade perforation

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The realisation of the building has just started. The foundation piles are in the ground, meaning that the invisible part of the house is finished. Thanks to devoted team Esther, Juliette, Simone, and Most obliged to our special, wonderful clients and co-creators E&J!

invisible Towerhouse structure

 

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