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KAAN Architecten Seeks to Transform Amsterdam into a Resilient City with a Series of Architectural Projects

KAAN Architecten Seeks to Transform Amsterdam into a Resilient City with a Series of Architectural Projects

KAAN Architecten has been investigating methods to ensure that cities continue to flourish. Working closely and experimenting primarily with the city of Amsterdam, the firm’s projects have been focusing on developing a healthy design and finding alternative possibilities to high-density architecture.

The Stack . Image Courtesy of KAAN ArchitectenDe Walvis. Image Courtesy of KAAN ArchitectenSPOT. Image Courtesy of KAAN ArchitectenAmsterdam Courthouse. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten+ 21

Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

Amsterdam, a living laboratory of large-scale urban development, where urbanization, above all, means intensification and diversification, has very limited possibilities for interventions in its center. Focused mainly in the ring around the epicenter, new developments are introducing new forms of the built environment. KAAN Architecten is actively helping in defining and constructing a new image of the city through a series of recent projects ranging in scale and function. Located in all current hot spots of expansion, these projects have provided the firm with a profound understanding of the city’s development. Discover below 4 main interventions from KAAN Architecten, aiming to rethink the city and develop innovative architectural ideas.

The STACK

The Stack . Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
The Stack . Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

This residential project comprised of two buildings connected with underground parking took on the challenge “to translate and express the oxymoron of individuality and collectivity which are both seen as specific qualities in this kind of urban living”. In fact, this was achieved by a refinement of the building contours and elongated balcony slabs, increasing space and views upwards. The terraced design generated different lengths of balcony slabs, depths, and balustrades. Creating a personal bond with a place, the design allows “residents to point out their own home and identify themselves more easily”. According to KAAN Architecten, the project is “a reversal of the formal city with stately buildings and invisible personalized courtyards into an informal neighborhood with accessible buildings and expressive personalized balconies”.

  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Client: Amvest
  • Design phase: 2017 - 2020
  • Start construction: 2021
  • GFA: 13.000 m2
  • Program: 119 apartments, parking
  • Design Team: Andreas Alevras, Beatrice Bagnara, Timo Cardol, Di Fang, Michael Geensen, Cristina Gonzalo Cuairán, Thomas Hayat, Narcisa Ionita, Kees Kaan, Laura Ospina, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio, Katarzyna Seweryn, Aldo Trim, Claudia Vermeulen

DE WALVIS (Dutch for ‘the whale’)

De Walvis. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
De Walvis. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

De Walvis, the only remaining office building on Bickerseiland, built in the early 60s, no longer complied with contemporary day workplace standards. KAAN Architecten was commissioned by the Maarsen Groep to renovate the building, taking on the mission of updating the structure and integrating it in our present times. “Within an exacting functionality that includes pragmatic and practical considerations, seemingly contradictory elements can turn into ingredients for an attractive environment”. For this project, the emphasis was put on sustainable use and ergonomic qualities with a sense of beauty as an implicit demand, by bringing in more daylight, increasing interior heights, and upgrading all installations to the highest standards including BREEAM Excellent certification. After a year of construction works, De Walvis has been delivered in Spring 2020.

  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Client: Maarsen Groep
  • Main Contractor: Dura Vermeer Onderhoud en Renovatie Midden West
  • Design phase: 2017 - 2019
  • Construction phase: 2019 – 2020
  • GFA: 10.400 m2
  • Programme: offices, parking, meeting rooms, coffee bar
  • Design Team: Rita Alessio, Andreas Alevras, Sebastiaan Buitenhuis, Timo Cardol, Alice Colombo, Paolo Faleschini, Michael Geensen, Joost Harteveld, Kees Kaan, Nicki van Loon, Hana Mohar, Jennifer Nam, Laura Ospina, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio, Katarzyna Seweryn, Christian Sluijmer, Joeri Spijkers, Aldo Trim, Ziwei Zhu

The SPOT

SPOT. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
SPOT. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

In progress, one of the larger urban transformations in Amsterdam is taking place in the south-east part of the city. Questioning how to redevelop the Hogehilweg area, KAAN Architecten proposed to transform the neighborhood into a cosmopolitan mixed-use area over the next few years, with approximately 1,090 new homes and 15,000 m² in facilities for around 2,200 new residents. The master plan establishes “different atmospheres simultaneously, creating both an intimate inner-city environment and an expanding metropolis, the village and the city in one”. Envisioning a space of urban dynamics, with a strong emphasis on the residential atmosphere, the program introduces considerable density, resulting in a green inner-city environment. Moreover, the architectural bureau is also designing three buildings, following a similar concept, with brick city blocks, a variety of towers on top, and sheltered arcades.

  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Client: COD, Duqer
  • Design phase: 2018 - 2020
  • Start construction: 2021
  • GFA: 45.000 m2
  • Program: 390 apartments, offices, commercial spaces, public facilities, parking
  • Design Team: Beatrice Bagnara, Santiago Brignardelli, Katarzyna Ephraim, Paolo Faleschini, Cristina Gonzalo Cuairán, Michele Guidobaldi, Narcisa Ionita, Elmira Jafari, Carlos Jacquet, Kees Kaan, Lianne Klitsie, Edoardo Mancini, Laura Ospina, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio, Aldo Trim, Yiannis Tsoskounoglou, Luk Vermeulen

New Amsterdam Courthouse

Amsterdam Courthouse. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
Amsterdam Courthouse. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

Located at the intersection of the Zuidas and Parnassusweg, replacing the previous judicial complex, the New Amsterdam Courthouse is the largest in the country. Opening up to both employees and passers-by, the building engages with the surroundings, putting in place a vast square offering an unobstructed view of the public area with the courtrooms. Commissioned for the new Courthouse design in 2016, KAAN Architecten is expecting to complete the building by the end of the year with the construction being in its final stages.

  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Primary Client: Rijksvastgoedbedrijf
  • Main Contractor: consortium NACH (Macquarie Capital, ABT, DVP, KAAN Architecten, Heijmans, Facilicom)
  • Design phase: 2014 - 2017
  • Construction phase: 2017 – 2020
  • GFA: 47.257 m2 (+ 11.500 sqm parking)
  • Program: public square, foyer, 70 courtrooms, offices, lobby, restaurant, conference center, and library
  • Design Team: Michael Baas, Sjoerd Boomars, Koen Bosman, Dennis Bruin, Robin Cals, Marten Dashorst, Luuk Dietz, Lisa Goes, Narine Gyulkhasyan, Thomas Hayat, Marlon Jonkers, Kees Kaan, Lianne Klitsie, Marco Lanna, Antony Laurijsen, Yinghao Lin, Johandry Martina, Julian O’Neale, Laura Ospina, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio, Claudio Zampaglione

Complex Project. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
Complex Project. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
Complex Project. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten
Complex Project. Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

Finally, KAAN Architecten for the past two years has focused on the theme AMSTERDAM 2050 with Complex Projects, AMS Institute, and the municipality of Amsterdam. In fact, “the research-through-design process of documenting and analyzing the present urban conditions of the City of Amsterdam and investigating various trends directing future urban development resulted in design solutions and visualizations of the predicted development of these locations”. By using Amsterdam as a living laboratory, graduate students, researchers, and teachers have been exploring how these changes might affect the city, to provide input for the decision making of the redevelopment plans 2025-2050.

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Cite: Christele Harrouk. "KAAN Architecten Seeks to Transform Amsterdam into a Resilient City with a Series of Architectural Projects" 14 Sep 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/947640/kaan-architecten-seeks-to-transform-amsterdam-into-a-resilient-city-with-a-series-of-architectural-projects> ISSN 0719-8884
The Stack . Image Courtesy of KAAN Architecten

KAAN Architecten 畅想弹性阿姆斯特丹

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