Amsterdam is growing. More and more people are coming to the capital of the Netherlands and the right architecture needs to facilitate that every one of them can find their new home. Especially the areas outside of the ring road, are rapidly developing and urbanizing. MVSA Architects took on the challenge of realizing this with a new building in the Slotervaart neighborhood while keeping authentic characteristics such as human scale and the village atmosphere intact.
During the design process, the architects’ focus laid on integrating respect for the neighborhood and its history. The complex is being built on the site of the former post office, opposite of the houses that in the 1950s were characterized by their sawtooth – or zigzag – architecture and blue facades. This is where the district got its nickname ‘Blueband’ in the early days, after the Dutch margarine brand. This classic design was integrated into the architecture of The Citadel but was given a modern twist, reflecting in the unique zigzag facades that a dynamic 3D effect wave movement.
To keep value to the existing architecture in the neighborhood, they choose to go for a mid-rise building. The architects held on to the same rectangular shape of the former post office but created air and light in the design by integrating courtyards with multiple patios, windows from floor to ceiling, and spacious outdoor spaces for future tenants. In addition, the apartments on the ground floor are built one meter above street level. Therefore, tenants get to enjoy a lively view, with maximum privacy, and the opportunity was created to fill up these areas with seating areas and green, which strengthens the connection of The Citadel with its context. Also, in the use of colors, the architects found the perfect mix of modernization in the residential area by contrasting white concrete and balconies with dark grey and black details.
To build a timeless and futureproof building, high standards of sustainability were kept into account in the design process. The roof is partially covered with sedum for optimal absorption of rainwater, solar panels were integrated for minimal ecological footprint, and the building is 100% free of the use of gas.