Tussen de Vaarten Apartments, Holland, Building, Dutch Project, Photo, Design
Almere Apartments Holland
Almere Residential Development – Dutch architecture design by NIO architecten in The Netherlands
9 Apr 2009
Tussen de Vaarten apartments
Location: Almere-Stad, The Netherlands
Design: NIO architecten
Pictures : Hans Pattist
With every house-building assignment, it is the art to escape the standard plans that are in the top drawers of estate agents and developers in a relaxed manner. That applies especially to this particular assignment in the ‘Tussen de Vaarten’ area in Almere, where urban developers have come up with a lingering block of houses of 400 metres long on the ‘Hoge Vaart’, consisting of 119 apartments with walkways on the northeast side to open them up.
Because the block only consists of three floors, we have proposed to give every apartment its own entrance hall on the ground floor, to prevent walkways and elevators and to minimize the service costs. This paves the way for developing a mosaic of different types of apartments (21 in total) along the entire depth of 15 meters of the nave, for opening up the flats on the different floors and for creating an offer as diverse as possible.
That the apartments all have their own front door on ground level is not the only special feature. What strikes are the 119 collective mini-private-gardens to which every inhabitant has given his highly personal interpretation; the wooden planking of five metres deep which borders on the reed ponds; the absence of the – according to the old building decree – obligatory extra door in the façade in front of the storeroom (119 front doors in a row seemed radical enough to us); the conservatories and patios of the apartments on the floors (has anyone ever made patios in apartment buildings?); the ‘floating’ rooms between the entrance on the ground floor and the living space on the second floor, and, of course, the exceptions to the exceptions: the front houses that usually consist of three floors and of which the biggest one takes up 186 square metres.
Because the urban layout of the area dictated an ecological look, it would have been obvious to cover the façade on the ‘Grote Vaart’ with wood, of which the parts (how could it be any different?) form a structure of open slats. We, however, have come up with a cool milky white glass façade that disguises the typological turmoil and – very ecologically – reflects the reeds and the water.
By vertically weatherboarding the glass, the veil-like effect becomes much better visible than it would be with a flat façade. The horizontal slats of western red cedar, like depilated eyebrows, have to accentuate the extensiveness of the five lingering apartment buildings.
This all contrasts sharply with the façade on the northeast side which is built from a mixture of red brickwork. As a consequence, the project has two faces – a warm and a cool one, a dark and a light one, a vertical and a horizontal one – through which the oxymoron ‘ground-bound apartment’ remains a contradiction in its appearance as well.
Tussen de Vaarten apartments Almere – Building Information
198 apartments in ‘Tussen de Vaarten’ in Almere-Stad
Address: Renoirstraat (Tussen de Vaarten), Almere-Stad, Holland
Design: NIO architecten
Client: Bouwmaatschappij Verwelius bv, Amsterdam
Building contractor: Bouwmaatschappij Verwelius bv, Amsterdam
Structural engineer: Cumae bv
Design team: Remco Arnold, Mark Bitter, Maurice Nio, Jaakko van ‘t Spijker
Start design: 2000
Completion: phased over 2003-04
Building costs: € 11.000.000 (119 apartments, high-rise building)
+ € 8.800.000 (79 houses, low-rise building)
Tussen de Vaarten Apartments images / information from NIO architecten 090409
Location: Almere, Netherlands, northern Europe
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