Another old office park in Amsterdam gets revitalized as green, mixed-use neighborhood

What was once a grey, isolated office location in Amsterdam-West will soon be revitalized as a green, lively neighborhood of around 750 homes, thanks to Rotterdam-based design firm MVRDV’s strategic master plan for a former ING office complex.

Repurposing, renewing and reconnecting (the revitalizing 3Re Strategy) run-down and/or obsolete office parks into vibrant, mixed-use, transit-oriented neighborhoods is one of the company’s specialties, as we’ve documented several times here in REVITALIZATION, with this one in the August 1, 2018 issue being the most recent.

Located in the Amsterdam Brettenzone, directly to the west of the city’s popular public greenspace, the Westerpark, the plan includes 12 buildings, five of which are also designed by MVRDV.

Placing an emphasis on green space and architectural diversity, the proposal for Westerpark West is a sustainable response to the ever-growing housing demand in Amsterdam.

The 70,000-square-meter masterplan by MVRDV continues the landscapes of the Westerpark, dividing the elongated area between the Haarlemmervaart and the Brettenpad into five sections of between 90 and 250 dwellings each. This plot structure aligns with the street pattern of the area to the south of the plan, and allows for many green areas, which are favourable for water retention.

The landscape of Westerpark West is designed by the London-based Gustafson Porter + Bowman, who in 2003 designed the park around the Westergasfabriek, extending the landscape of the Westerpark to its current boundaries.

MVRDV has challenged fellow architects TANK, Blauw, KRFT, Studio Maks, and DoepelStrijkers to design charismatic buildings that work together as a good ensemble.

By varying the building typologies and the character of the public space, a striking neighbourhood arises in the middle of the city. The fact that green is an important element in this master plan is clear from the diversity of outdoor spaces, from front gardens and loggias to balcony gardens and roof terraces.

MVRDV itself designed five residential buildings: Blend is a residential building with expressive bay windows that create extra living space and allow for enhanced views, with its combination of bay windows and outdoor space creating a green zone around the building. Salt, part of Salt and Pepper, has a bold overhang towards the city and a reduced footprint, with an irregular pattern on its façade that reflects the diversity of the apartments inside.

MVRDV’s Westerblok is a transformation of an existing building in the ING office complex that dates back to the 1980s. The building will receive a new green façade and a staggered roofline that creates roof terraces at a variety of heights, all enclosing a courtyard with a wooden façade. The compact residential buildings on the western plot, some of which lean a little in order to open up the space and reveal vistas, have spacious corner apartments with expressive balconies.

MVRDV has developed an innovative energy master plan for Westerpark West, with a combination of district heating and seasonal thermal energy storage. Following the principles of material cycles and the circular economy, the masterplan will transform a number of existing office buildings on the site into comfortable and energy-efficient homes. The project also includes catering, a child day care, and three underground parking garages with charging points and shared cars.

Westerpark-West has been developed in collaboration with HBB Groep, iLINQ, DGMR Adviseurs, Pieters Bouwtechniek Utrecht, DWA, Techniplan Adviseurs and IGG.

All renderings courtesy of MVRDV.

See MVRDV website.

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