Republica is paving the way for a new urban area combining public and private functions in Buiksloterham, an area of Amsterdam North where a dynamic transition from industries to a vibrant living and working hub is taking place. Buiksloterham is conceived as a new development focussing on circularity. Republica adds to the circular ambition of the area by using up-cycled building materials, re-use of water flows, integrating green, and by producing energy through solar panels and a heat pump.
We were asked to design the first large residential mixed use project marking the transformation of this industrial area into a lively new part of the city. The project needs to lead by example and form the heart of this new transition zone with a large parking underneath. We were presented a site with 5 sheds in it, a former factory. We asked ourselves how can we turn a remote industrial plant into a dynamic mixed use centre and urban catalyst?
We decided to look at historical central parts of European towns for inspiration to discover it is the quality of the public space that differs them from suburban spaces. This quality often is the result of a composition (often evolutionary grown) of ensembles of buildings and overlapping pedestrian spaces with each slightly different qualities and uses. The routing as a continuous loop connecting them with the town, the proportions of facades of ensemble of buildings designed by different architects, creating surprising view lines, unexpected gardens and sunspots in- between. And most important, the lively programmed oversized plinths with tactile, diverse and durable materials that makes them appealing to work and make things in. We synthesized these elements and puzzled on our plot until we found our own micro city with carefully proportioned spaces and buildings creating a diverse and surprising spectrum of intimate, informal and more open and formal spaces, all compressed into one acre. The spatial densification results in a highly mixed program, introducing a new service concept.
The concept is ‘Open Frame’: a place where living, working and recreation blend into one. A place with the right balance between the individual & the collective, the urban & human scale. A synergy between functions and membership, with a new radical approach of sharing and service. Everyone that lives, stays or works in Republica has access to the shared functions for example a gym, swimming pool or room service. Visitors of the hotel can also reserve a workspace in the shared office. Republica demonstrates a flexible concept with high ambitions.
High quality outdoor public spaces are created by the strategic positioning of six volumes as an ensemble. The precise position, scale and building proportions establish prominent sightlines across the immediate surroundings to the adjacent areas, inviting everyone to enter and participate. The outdoor spaces form an open landscape of squares, comprising public and private spaces which is activated by the adjacent programs. The diverse programmatic mix of hotel, cafe, sports facilities, apartments, work and atelier studios, allows maximum cross-pollination between the functions. Flexibility and adaptability for future needs in the ground floor are accommodated through floors of 4-meters high. In principle it is, a place for residents and the community to live, work and relax.
The varying building heights, rich façade materialisation of bricks, concrete and wood, and careful detailing adds scale and value to the area, setting the standard of quality for future projects in Buiksloterham.
- Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Client Republica VOF, (Banlieu & Vink Bouw)
- Year 2017 - ongoing
- Status Under development
- Program Housing, Office, Commercial, Hotel, Cafe, Restaurant
- Project architect David Klinkhamer, Eric Thijssen, Andrea Verdecchia
- Lead architect Marc Koehler Architects
- Landscape architect Erik Funneman
- Team Satoru Muneda, Michiel Kroese, Robbie Neijzen
- Building Physics & Structural Engineer Pieters Bouwtechniek
- Contractor Vink bouw
- Fire Safety DPA
- MEP Techniplan, INNAX, Spectral
- Render company A2 studio
Superlofts Ridderspoorweg – adaptable lofts within Republica circular city
Superlofts Ridderspoorweg will form the heart of Republica Buiksloterham. Ten spacious and bright loft apartments with a flexible framework will allow owners to create custom living and working spaces.