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Houtsma Site Live / Work Factory / Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer

  • 00:00 - 25 March, 2011
Houtsma Site Live / Work Factory / Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer
Houtsma Site Live / Work Factory / Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer, © Luuk Kramer
© Luuk Kramer

© Marlies Rohmer © Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer © Luuk Kramer + 19

  • Architects

    Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer
  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Design Team

    Marlies Rohmer, Floris Hund (deputy architect), Kirsten Gabriëls (assistant designer/coordinator), Gieneke Pieterse (project coordinator), Ido de Boer, Charles Hueber, Marie Louise Greger
  • Area

    6260.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

  • Category

The small scale charm and the varied buildings of the Bellamy Neighbourhood give it the atmosphere of a small village, embedded into the Amsterdam pericentral suburb of Oud-West. The urban structure of the neighbourhood follows old farming field boundaries from the 19th century. Living and working functions intermingle in the neighbourhood. The Houstma Site occupies a prominent location on a shipping canal, Kostverlorenvaart, and is named after the former Houtsma kitchen furniture factory.

© Marlies Rohmer
© Marlies Rohmer

The urban development brief for the Houtsma Site was the outcome of close consultation with local residents. The key concepts were functional mixing, a livelier atmosphere, better public safety and a varied programme of housing which would boost the social structure. A prominent building of up to five storeys was required at the corner of Bellamystraat and Wenslauerstraat, plus a section no more than two storeys tall on the side facing into the neighbourhood (so as not to impeded daylight and views). Locals coined the name “Neighbourhood Factory” for the new development.

© Luuk Kramer
© Luuk Kramer

It was a challenge for the designers to achieve a sublime synthesis of all the local residents specifications – a result that would be more than the sum of its parts. Emphatic articulation and height differences as prescribed in the urban design brief had to be combined with a building respecting the existing plot boundaries.

© Luuk Kramer
© Luuk Kramer

It had to harmonize with the characteristics of Bellamy but retain its “factory” typology, which harks back to the industrial past of the canal and is consistent with the busy little factories and other business premises dotted around in the small-scale fabric of Bellamy. At the same time, the resulting building had to be a contemporary icon which would not be out of place among the individualistic buildings flanking Kostverlorenvaart, such as the Wester Mosque across the canal.

© Luuk Kramer
© Luuk Kramer

The distinctive roof formation combines with articulation on a plot-by-plot basis to produce an uncontrived informality


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Cite: "Houtsma Site Live / Work Factory / Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer" 25 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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