Located at the pivot between the old Spaarndammer neighbourhood and the new scheme for residential islands in the former docklands area Houtahavens, this apartment block forms the decor for what is going to be a lively public space. Most of the dwellings in the project are intended for the social sector. It was a challenge to devise a simple access method, and the outcome was the mini-gallery or ‘gallerette’. All the apartments, as well as the car park and the courtyard garden, are served by a single lift. The wide, partly open gallerette is situated on the northeast side which is exposed to traffic noise. The apartments have kitchen/dining rooms on this side. The living rooms, which have generous balconies, are on the rear facing into the collective courtyard garden.
At ground floor level, the entrance to the apartments is flanked by a supermarket and a coffee bar. The concrete shells form inviting entrances. A visor-like screen of sculptural brickwork in front of the illuminated gold-coloured facade (harmonizing with the light-coloured masonry of the neighbouring buildings) turns the building into a luminous landmark at night.
In the classic tripartite design of the facade (top, middle and bottom), the building seeks to relate to the nineteenth-century buildings in the vicinity. The building is at the same time clearly a contemporary icon in a prominent location.