Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Design Team: Arie van Der Neut, Albert Herder, Vincent van Der Klei
Project Team: Arie van Der Neut, Albert Herder, Vincent van Der Klei, Monika Pieroth, Pascal Bemelmans
Structural Engineering: Jean-Marc Saurer, Vincent van Der Klei
Client: Hopman Interheem Groep Gouda
Contractor: Heddes Bouw
Project Year: 2004-2008
Budget: € 17.000.000
Photographs: John Lewis Marshall, Luuk Kramer & Jean-Pierre Jans
The Science Park is hemmed in between the Flevopark, the neighborhood of the Indische buurt and the Amsterdam-Almere railway line. Until recently, the site was occupied by allotments alongside research institutes and science and technology companies. The allotments are to be replaced by five new residential buildings situated in a park-like environment of restricted traffic speeds. Car-parking is located within the buildings so the area’s appearance is not defined by on-street parking. As ‘Het Kasteel’ (the castle) stands at the entrance to the project, on the west side facing the city, it acts as its calling card.
Its location adjacent to the railway lines necessitates a high level of sound insulation and it is this that defines the external expression of the ‘Kasteel’. The building is enveloped in a glazed skin that stands free from the apartment block behind. In order to give the skin a tactile quality, the panels are angled slightly to each other; this artifice lends the building the appearance of a gigantic crystal.
The ‘Kasteel’ consists of a 45m high tower standing on a four to five-storey base. It is surrounded by water and pedestrians and cyclists access the internal courtyard via a bridge. The car parking, storage spaces and some of the ground floor dwellings’ living spaces are positioned underneath the courtyard’s half-open wooden deck. The dwellings vary in size: those on the ground floor include a living space just above the water level while those above contain either a balcony or a terrace. The interaction between the apartment block’s recessed elevation and the glazed panels of the building’s skin ensures the entrance building acts as an icon for the Science Park.