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In Progress: Blok K / NL Architects

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NL ArchitectsBlok K is part of a master plan for 500 dwellings in Amsterdam.  The site’s triangular shape sits between the historic center and the recently redeveloped harbor area.   The block measures 31 x 28 meters and is about 2.5 stories tall.   According to the guidelines established in the master plan, it was obligatory to build the first two stories in alignment and the third story had to contain 50% roof terrace.  The volume’s form is “redistributed” in an effort to push it as far away as possible from the adjacent volumes.  The roof’s strong diagonal stands as a bold contrast to the orthogonal grid.

More about the block and more images after the break.

The units in the block are organized according to “the back to back principle” and are accessed from an aisle in the middle of the block.  With front doors positioned to the back, the houses “are turned inside out.”  Components like water and gas meters are pushed toward the hallways and stairs in the darker zones of the apartments, so the facades can benefit from light and the view of the park.

While all the units are stretched or compressed, either in height of length, they still maintain a 630m3 space per dwelling.  ”The process of the standard building bay as an organizational tool of construction became elastic” to create a conglomeration of  unique units.


Cite:Karen Cilento. "In Progress: Blok K / NL Architects" 20 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>