Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Its origins lie in the 12th century, when fishermen living along the banks of the River Amstel built a bridge across the waterway near the IJ, then a large saltwater inlet. Most of the city’s territory is below sea level and therefore it lies on land that has been reclaimed from the water. Amsterdam is all about practical urban planning, amazing cycling infrastructure, tulip-lined canal bridges and old merchant houses that tilt at impossible angles. I visited Amsterdam again last year and discovered some new places. 1. WoZoCo / MVRDV Ookmeerweg + Reimerswaaltstraat This iconic building by MVRDV – the first housing complex realised by the firm – fulfils 100 living units for elderly people and was completed in 1997. Its very powerful image is the result of urban policy: the architects couldn't place all the flats in a linear building, because there was a height restriction. Thus the overhang volumes: all the apartments that couldn't fit into the linear volume where hung on the northern side, with an east-west orientation.
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