In the 1960s a clutch of large-​scale build­ings were erected along Grote Bick­ersstraat, the prin­ci­pal street of 17th-​century Bick­er­sei­land in Ams­ter­dam. Since then such large vol­umes have come to be regarded as out of place in the small-​scale his­toric inner urban areas, and so these build­ings were demol­ished. On the for­mer site of one office colos­sus, ‘de Nar­wal’, now stands a com­plex of 88 stu­dent flats.

The idea behind this new build­ing ‘or rather quin­tet of build­ings’ was to slot a great many dwellings into small vol­umes bet­ter suited to the size and scale of the sur­round­ings. It also sat­is­fies the client’s wishes to house the stu­dents in easy-​to-​read enti­ties. Four alleys slice through the com­plex. The slen­der urban vol­umes this pro­duces have the dimen­sions of old Ams­ter­dam houses. The alleys also make good places for the entrances to the flats.

There are two kinds of flats: single-​person units and units shared by four stu­dents. The four-​person units are placed at the top of the blocks and share a kitchen open­ing onto the roof ter­race. All flats, at both front and back, have a French bal­cony. Beneath each block is a cel­lar for stor­age and park­ing space for the apart­ment build­ing beyond. The entrance to this park­ing level is incor­po­rated in the rhythm of the bays. The whole adds up to a basic, low-​key quin­tet that gives a play­ful nod to the past.

FARO Architecten Lisserbroek

land­goed de olmen­horst
lis­ser­weg 487d
2165 as lisserbroek

ves­tig­ing oost
oude kraan 72
6811 ll arnhem

+31 (0) 252 414777

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