De Zeven Provinciën | Amsterdam

Design – realisation: 2004–2012

Design: Apartements

Location: Overhoeks| Amsterdam (NL)

Client: ING Real Estate

Team: Jo Coenen | Harold Aspers | Edwin van Oppen | Will Stokkermans | Frans Wesseling | Barbara Novak | Simon Muendler | Kostanze Lieb


The rules improved


The Shell site on the northern banks of the River IJ in Amsterdam is redesigned as a residential area. Bureau Geurst & Schulze drew up the urban design plan, in which the architectural limiting conditions are stringently laid down. Beside a ‘high-rise city’ where, in combination with former industrial complexes, new tower blocks rise, they designed a ‘block city’ of seven-storey, rectangular apartment blocks in an orthogonal, symmetrical street plan.

JCAU’s design is for a single apartment block in this block city, next to the water, close to the striking Shell tower (Arthur Staal, 1971), which has been retained. The design contravenes the limiting conditions on a number of points, which the urban designers immediately accepted as an improvement. For instance, the ground floor contains a broad entrance, an embellishment of the city image which also gives the blocks situated behind this one a better view of the river. Instead of a rectangular block, JCAU at first opted for a play of curved lines for its expressiveness, related to the Amsterdam School architecture of the Vrijheidslaan. In the end, however, the rectangular block was chosen after all, but it was still designed to afford residents a maximum of sunlight and an optimal view.