Text description provided by the architects. The Houthaven in the Amsterdam western harbour area is the final piece of the long-term development of the southern side of the river IJ in the Dutch capital. The completion of blok0 (block 0) yields the first phase of developing the Houthaven. As part of blok0 the project IJ4you covers the final plots 8 and 9, the southern end part of this ‘superblock’. The complex consists of a 9-layered building with apartments at the Haparandaweg and a 4 to 5-layered building part with apartments to the quay of the future Houthavenkade. In developing this project, the future residents have maximum impact on the layout and the final elaboration of the houses. Each apartment is tailored differently and individually designed for its residents.
The building encloses a double layered parking garage with a collective roof garden on top. Because of the wide and open surroundings of the location at the IJ and the industrial character of the port area, the choice was made for a robust materializing of the façades and a restrained detailing. The corner block is designed in an industrially manufactured brick with a clear brick grid of vertical and horizontal layers with an apparent depth. The block attached is designed in a natural limestone with horizontal cantilevered edges. On the city side façade, floor-to-ceiling aluminium sliding window frames and wide balconies give a terrific view over the city and the river IJ.
The quay apartments include a private roof terrace and are directly orientated towards the street because of floor-to-ceiling folding window frames on the ground floor level. The roof garden is accomodated with a wide variety of trees, such as the ‘Prunus dulcis’. This communal inner court is accessible from the attached apartments, as well as from the Houthavenkade by a broad stairway. The inner court is a representation of the inner courts with the connected traditional neighbourhood of the adjecent Spaarndammerbuurt, famous for its monumental Amsterdam School social housing complexes.