The new addition for a socialist housing developer, located on Amsterdam’s Singel Gracht, inside an old 50,000 square metre brick warehouse, has been entirely renovated and expanded on the basis of today’s principles of environmental sustainability. The addition ensures liveability not only in its interior, which is open to light and to the air, but also in the surrounding area, thanks to a walkway and terrace overlooking the canal, the course of which is emphasised by a regular row of cypresses.
The building’s interior transmits strong emotions with its chromatic hues, plays of light and thin weaves: the windows, with their regular square cut, look like dark geometric screens by day, and are lit up with coloured lights reflected in the waters of the canal by night. By contrast, the slight illumination of interior lights makes the pavilion immediately visible with no need for outdoor lighting; on the other hand, the moving waters of the Singel Gracht look like mirrors capable of reflecting the multiple light effects and giving life to a palpitating, emotion-laden physical space.
For this intimate office building, light sources are intentionally kept hidden, while lighting effects are made visible. At night, lighting emphasizes the stratification of the façade’s many porous skins comprised of copper, concrete, and perforated wood.