DIY-Housing in Amsterdam – Amstelloft by WE Architecten

DIY-housing in Amsterdam

Architects: WE architecten
Project: DIY-housing in Amsterdam / project Amstelloft
Architect in Charge: Wouter van Alebeek, Erik de Vries
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Project Year 2016
Photography: Filip Dujardin

The collective DIY-housing project Amstelloft consists of spacious loft-apartments. Inspired by dwellings in old schools, churches and warehouses: flexible space with double height which can be turned into living spaces ranging from open lofts to four-bedroom-apartments. The future inhabitants were intensely involved in the realization benefiting the pronounced posibilities and character of the design.

The living spaces have a height of 5,5 meters which allows every household to realize their own demands and dreams. The concrete structure can be filled with extra wooden floors which are easily adaptable when the interior no longer fits due to, for example, increased family size or a change of job.

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WE architecten took initiative to start this DIY-housing development. At information evenings a group of enthusiast future inhabitants was formed around the spacious living concept. The municipality awarded the initiative with a beautiful site with a fanstastic view on the river Amstel, running through the heart of the city of Amsterdam.

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The arched facade openings enhance the experience of the double-high spaces and give the DIY-housing structure a binding and outspoken character. Large facade openings and voids making it possible to create deep and bright apartments since daylight can enter deep into the building. Making a compact building was important to realize the high sustainability ambitions.

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One important principle was the separation of the building structure and the interiors in the realization process. This gave the individual households full freedom within their living spaces. This deviation from the regular building process also required a thorough coordination with the municipality. During the design process the DIY-housing concept was fully engineered in all its aspects.

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The DIY-housing concept ‘Living like in old schools, churches and warehouses’ has been fully embraced by our clients. This has resulted in a surprising variety of lively and spacious interiors.

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The materials enhance the concept of ‘Living like in old schools, churches and warehouses’. The buildings’ structure is meant robust en tough and the chosen materials age well. The number of materials is limited to create a modest and timeless facade. The arched facade openings are strenghtened with the brick detailling.

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