In the western area of the port of Amsterdam, within the urban design plan drawn up by West 8, three building blocks we designed were realized with a total of 72 homes. The blocks sp05, sp11 and sp16(partly) are located on the green strip that projects out in the continuation of the IJ harbour. The direction of this green strip is the reason for the specific pointed form of the blocks. The client, New Deal, wished to realize a large number of small homes and in view of the prescribed building height, that meant stacking.
The choice was made to build maisonettes on top of studios or garages, while at the sharp points there are homes on three levels. The maisonettes are accessed via an intimate inner courtyard on the first floor. This deck, which straddles the ends of the blocks, is positioned round a 'green' courtyard and looks out over the green strip. Roughly speaking, the houses can be divided into three types: - studios with street level access, generally with a single living space with an internal height of 3.2 m. - maisonettes, with the entrance and bedroom(s) on the first floor and the living room and outdoor space on the second floor. - 3-storey houses, half of which have the entrance on the ground floor and the living room on the first floor while the other half has the entrance on the first floor with the living room on the ground floor.
In addition, each block has a number of parking spaces and clusters with bicycle sheds. The street and quay façades are characterized in particular by vertical segmentation, French windows with a Juliet balcony and large recesses in the brickwork where there are studios on the ground floor. The façades on the green zone take their character from the contrast between the series of grouped vertical window frames and the large openings into the communal inner courtyards. These courtyards are provided with balustrading over the entire length and breadth.