The new apartment building on the Bloemgracht in Amsterdam’s Jordaan quarter was designed as an integral part of the historic canal façade. The design aims to restore the historic urban fabric and ensure that one does not immediately see that the new building is a modern residential programme of maisonettes and apartments. The rear façade of the building is south-facing, so that all the exterior spaces could be situated at the rear and a smooth façade could be create at the front, just as flat as the adjacent buildings from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
A characteristic of the houses in the city’s historic inner cordon of canals is that each house has its own rhythm of gables and windows, which changes with every parcel. Each building has its own bar code, as it were. This principle was also applied in this new building, which stretches over four parcels. The apartment building is divided into one wide and two narrower façades. The wide section has three gables, with two rows of seven windows underneath. In the base, with the first floor, is a row of six windows. The two smaller fronts feature a different partition: both have a neck gable with two whales on either side, with three rows of three windows under each. The windowsills of one façade are not at the same height as the other façade, in order to emphasize the individuality of the façades in relation to one another.
The existing rear houses sections were retained, making it possible to convert them into studios or home offices and connect them to the apartments on the ground floor via a shallow garden.
[A] Sjoerd Soeters
[P] 8 apartments
[C] Gerose Vastgoed Ontwikkeling