AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.
274
Current Issue

September 2019

#274
September 2019

Interior High Notes: Residential wonders in Atlanta, Whistler, Milan and more in Azure's September 2019 issue!

Amstellofts, Studio PROTOTYPE, Amsterdam

Southeast of the narrow canals and tightly packed historic buildings of central Amsterdam, the emerging Amstelkwartier neighbourhood meets the east bank of the Amstel river with a very different presence. Vestiges of 19th and 20th century industry meet modern towers, rail tracks, new public spaces and converted warehouses, with a growing number of mid-rise buildings filling in the urban fabric. On Welnastraat, the newly completed Amstellofts stands out amidst a glut of projects reshaping a rapidly changing stretch of the city.

Designed by local firm Studio Prototype, the recently completed residential mid-rise is a streamlined addition to the neighbourhood. Introducing a series of generously proportioned double-height residences, the project meets the street with a concrete facade that immediately sets Amstellofts apart from its predominantly brick-clad neighbours.

Amstellofts, Studio PROTOTYPE, Amsterdam

The weight and heft of concrete is unapologetically embraced, but the project also embodies an impressively fine-grained urban rhythm. Defined by clean vertical lines, the facade is broken up into three apparent frontages, hinting at the dramatically narrow buildings that define old Amsterdam’s architectural vernacular. From the street, the design reads as a trio of townhomes, creating a friendlier and more legible environment.

Drawing the eye, the strong vertical gesture resolves along the crown of the building, which breaks up the heaviness of the concrete structure with a light, horizontal plinth.

Amstellofts, Studio PROTOTYPE, Amsterdam
Amstellofts, Studio PROTOTYPE, Amsterdam

A quiet play of textures accentuates the face of the building. Poured in traditional wooden moulds – with telltale texture to show – coarsely textured concrete fills out the slightly extruded facade, while deeper concrete frames are finished with a smoother surface. It’s a subtle effect, but one that gives the building a sense of depth – and personality.

Amstellofts, Studio PROTOTYPE, Amsterdam

To maximize open living space, stairwells were placed along the exterior of the building. Facing away from the street, stairways and balconies overlook a small courtyard, fostering a more intimate environment for residents. On the public side of the building, however, most of the street-level frontage is devoted to cars, with three garage entrances placed alongside narrow residential entryways.

A Modern Student Residence on a Former Amsterdam Shipyard
Moke Architecten has completed a mixed-use educational building at NDSM, a redevelopment of Amsterdam’s largest shipyard into a creative hub.

The deference to cars is an unfortunate concession – one that disrupts the project’s urban character with a slightly deadening street-level presence. Still, Studio Prototype’s graceful and contextually attuned design makes the building stand apart from its surroundings.

Amstellofts, Studio PROTOTYPE, Amsterdam

It’s not an iconic building, but it is good architecture. With a polite, carefully proportioned modernist aesthetic, Amstellofts contributes to the urban fabric with quiet aplomb.

In Amsterdam, a Mid-Rise Residential Building Gracefully Fills an Urban Gap

Studio Prototype’s Amstellofts project completes the urban fabric while standing apart from its surroundings in the emerging Amstelkwartier neighbourhood.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.