NL architects: blok k
NL architects: blok k NL architects: blok k
mar 03, 2010

NL architects: blok k

‘blok k’ by NL architects all images courtesy NL architects

‘blok k’ has been recently completed by dutch NL architects. it is part of a masterplan for 500 dwellings and a park by frits van dongen/ de architecten cie. the triangular site is located between the historic center and the recently redeveloped harbor area in the east of amsterdam. along the east and the south side a ‘wall’ containing over 300 apartments and office spaces shields the site from the noise of the adjacent railroad. inside this semi open block a loose grid is set up, containing 16 smaller housing blocks positioned in a park. these ‘hidden delights’ vary in height from 9 to 18 meters.

blok k is one of three almost square blocks that measure 31 by 28 meters and should contain 2.5 stories. it was obligatory to build the first two stories in alignment; the third should be 50% building and 50% roof terrace/garden. in our block the volume is distributed evenly over the ten houses; each is allocated 630m2.

the houses are organized according to the back to back principle, to be be accessed from an aisle in the middle of the block. this ‘mini canyon’ rids the facades of the obligatory storage spaces and technical facilities that formally have to be accessible from the public domain.

the front doors are positioned in the back; the houses are turned inside out. by placing the ‘intestines’ like water and gas meters, hallways and stairs in the darker zones of the apartments, the facades can open up to the light and to the view, to where the park is.

to create space within the masterplan this volume is deformed and redistributed, pushed away as much as possible from the adjacent volumes. within the orthogonal grid a diagonal vista opens up. the design tool deployed for this operation is the slight rotation of the aisle, orienting it onto two open spaces between the blocks, instead of ‘two’ blind walls and as such providing a public shortcut.

point of reference is the given 630m3 per dwelling. while all houses are at the same time stretched and compressed, either in height or in length, they still maintain this original volume. although some features of the typology remain, all houses are individual and unique reaching from one and a half to four stories, from 132 to 185m2.  the amplitude of the building now varies from 5 to 15 meters, but overall the average is still the required 7.5 meters. in the process the standard building bay as an organizational tool of construction became ‘elastic’.

  • Nice nice nice

    V.E. says:
  • an idea of the 90s on paper that became reality…
    should have stayed on paper!!! One more again!!!

    ANY says:
  • Glad that it’s reality. Love the visual impact it makes. Well done d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Best looking res. complex I’ve seen in a long while, well done.

    func1 says:
  • somehow depressing-looking. The green roof looks like a landfill with the pipes and black boxes.

    BB says:
  • ridhika db, how can we contact you?
    Lina Vergara, from Andrés Jaque Architects

    lina says:

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