Blok N completes the regeneration of the post-war Jeruzalem neighbourhood in Amsterdam. It is designed as a striking pavilion that fronts all sides of its park-like surrounds.
Intersecting Hugo de Vrieslaan, the prominent site (plot N) was designated for a residential complex with adaptable social rental housing. Our ambition was to rethink the possibilities of social housing within the given constraints and site conditions; the result is a distinctive, compact building that addresses the need for comfortable social housing and respects the history of this heritage-listed site.
We gave a new view on social housing here, one focused on high quality and adding an unexpected layer of beauty
The complex unfolds from the green heart of the neighbourhood as two connected volumes that step up towards Frankendael Park. Our strategy was to focus on one intervention that would make the biggest impact in both improving the quality of life for residents and defining the architecture: the balconies. The entire building is wrapped in continuous white balconies punctuated by an irregular rhythm of vertical fins, for privacy, resulting in an eye-catching three-dimensional grid. Every apartment has access to a private balcony that extends the entire width of the dwelling. High windows and sliding doors allow residents to enjoy more daylight, air and views. We opted again for a prefab system, this time for its high-quality finish, cost efficiency and minimisation of waste. The white facades blend easily into the neighbourhood of characteristic white post-war houses; colour and composition create an ever-changing play of light and shadow.