by KCAP as Architects - Fri, 28 May 2010
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Borneo Sporenburg is a residential district in Amsterdam’s Oostelijk Havengebied (Eastern Docklands). Three gigantic blocks, one of which is Fountainhead, stand amid rows of courtyard dwellings in this high-density development. However, due to the state of the housing market in 2002, the realization of a block containing large, expensive apartments proved unfeasible, and the programme and design were therefore adapted. The new Fountainhead retains the original contour of 64 x 64 x 63 metres and it is still a U-shaped building of 20 storeys, built half on land and half above the water. The new building accommodates 238 owner-occupied dwellings, a primary school, 2650 square metres of space for mixed functions, and 274 parking places in a three-level, aboveground car park. At the largest level of scale, the building manifests as a gigantic monolith that yet escapes being forbidding thanks to a form that is sensitive to its surroundings. The building is elevated above ground level on two sides, matching the level of the surrounding low-rise construction. At the same time, the scale of the individual dwellings can still be perceived throughout the structure, since the facade is articulated with prefabricated concrete cubes that provide space for bay windows, winter gardens and balconies.
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