'amstelloft' DIY apartments by WE architecten are designed to adapt

'amstelloft' DIY apartments by WE architecten are designed to adapt


the concept of these collective DIY lofts and living spaces by WE architecten is one based around adaptability. located in amsterdam overlooking the river amstel, the ‘amstelloft’ project was inspired by dwellings in old schools, churches and warehouses: flexible spaces created in ample dimensions, capable of housing everything from artists’ studios to family homes.





as a collective project, the future inhabitants of the spaces were deeply involved in the realization of the homes, benefitting from the broad range of architectural possibilities and character of the design. WE architecten held a number of information evenings during which future residents could outline their wants and needs for the site. a core tenant of the project was the separation of the building structures from the interiors that they would house. this deviation from the regular building process gave individual households full creative freedom within their living spaces.

the building is situated on the banks of the river amstel in amsterdam



a core concrete frame divides the building into a tower of similarly sized compartments. with a height of 5.5 meters, these spaces provide an ample canvas for each household to realize its own vision. designed to grow alongside the needs of its tenant, the concrete frames can be filled, altered and adapted as needed, from a 4 bedroom family apartment to a 2 bedroom holiday retreat. 

the project was inspired by dwellings in old schools, churches and warehouses: flexible, characterful spaces



the arched façade openings of the building enhance the experience of the double height spaces and give the DIY structure a cohesive and outspoken character. the large openings result in deep apartments that are still thoroughly bright, allowing sunlight to easily fill the separate rooms. ‘the DIY-housing concept ‘living like in old schools, churches and warehouses’ has been fully embraced by our clients’, say the studio. ‘this has resulted in a surprising variety of lively and spacious interiors.’

a concrete frame divides the building into a tower of similarly sized apartments

the structure of the building grew separately from the programs that they would house

the adaptable spaces are large enough to house anything, from an artist’s loft to a four bedroom family home

generous arched façade’s allow light to enter deep into the building

the architects held a number of information evenings to hear the future residents hopes and needs for the building

wooden floors can be easily added, and in the future removed

the ground floor residences have access to a large rear garden 

a waterway map of amsterdam adorns the front gate of the complex

the frame is designed to adapt over time



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: peter corboy | designboom

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