Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2000



PROGRAM: new headquarters for housing developer
CLIENT: Woningbouwvereniging Het Oosten
    SIZE: ADDITION & RENOVATION: 3,500 & 50,000 sq ft
STATUS: complete

In Amsterdam, on the Singel Gracht, the renovated building is a four-story brick "U" merging internally with a new "sponge" pavilion. While the exterior expression is one of complimentary contrast (existing brick adjacent to new perforated copper) the interior strategy is one of fusion. The porous architecture of the rectangular pavilion is inscribed with a concept from Morton Feldman's music, "Patterns in a Chromatic Field." The ambition to achieve a space of gossamer optic phenomena with chance-located color is especially effective at night when the color patches reflect in the De Single Canal. The layers of perforated screens are developed in three dimensions, analogous to the "Menger Sponge" principle of openings that are continuously cut in planes and constantly approaching zero volume. 

The innovative work space led the same client asked us to renovate an adjacent 1868 warehouse for expanded offices in 2006. While the first project expanded the historic warehouse with a social space ADDITION, the second renovation carved a public space SUBTRACTION from the historic warehouse along the canal front. The interiors are conceived as Palimpsest where the newly exposed structural brick walls reveal the multiple cuts made for various programs over time.


  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect )
    • Justin Korhammer ( project architect )
    • Hideaki Ariizumi, Martin Cox, Annette Goderbauer, Yoh Hanaoka, Heleen van Heel (project team)
  • local architect
    • – Rappange & Partners
  • structural engineer
    • – Ingenieursgroep Van Rossum
  • mechanical engineer
    • – Technical Management
  • electrical engineer
    • – Technical Management
  • building services consultant
    • – Technical Management
  • general contractor
    • – VOF Van Eesteren
      – Koninklijke Woudenberg
  • lighting consultant
    • – L'Observatoire International
  • artist