29.4.2014

The Boetzelaer, Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s Staatsliedenbuurt is a former working-class neighbourhood with a great deal of social housing that was established in about 1900. The construction of the original buildings often left much to be desired, and many of the old buildings have been replaced.

M3H built a housing project earlier in this area, on Van Beuningen Street. The Boetzelaer is a new building designed for the corner of Boetzelaer Square, Fannius Scholten Street and Hogendorp Street, containing 47 new rental units for the elderly, two corner units for commercial use and an underground parking garage. The façade is composed of vertical brick columns braced by horizontal steel beams, and, like its original, reveals its structural engineering, fabrication and its differing elements. French balconies and air vents are carefully shaped steel elements that enliven the exterior. The corners and entrances of the building are distinct and great attention has been given to the details of windows, doors, railings, dormers and grates.

Each housing unit is wheelchair accessible via an arcade on the courtyard side. Here the steel construction and wooden floors create an informal atmosphere. The arcades have been widened at the entrances to each apartment so that they can be used as meeting and outdoor spaces. The new building is a contemporary interpretation of its late nineteenth-century surroundings and has a vibrant and contemporary look. The new building, together with a newly designed playground, gives the neighbourhood a positive boost.

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