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Amsterdam’s new sustainable mixed-use building embraces the idea of living on the water

The Sluishuis employs a unique shape that makes it appear different from every vantage point.

December 01, 2016 |

Rendering courtesy of BIG

In the Amsterdam neighborhood of IJburg, an emerging urban district built on six artificial islands, a new 46,000-sm mixed-use building named Sluishuis wants to replicate the neighborhood’s fusion of water and city on a smaller scale.

The building is being developed by a combination of Vorm and Besix with design duties being handled by BIG and Barcode Architects. Sluishuis will act as the centerpiece of IJburg and will offer 380 zero-energy residences, about 4,000 sm of commercial and common areas, 240 underground parking spaces, and a water-quality program with space for up to 30 houseboats.

The Sluishuis employs a unique shape that makes it appear different from every vantage point. The section of the building that faces the water is lifted up to form a large opening that brings the water from the IJ Lake into the courtyard and also brings daylight and views into the complex’s inner apartments. The opposite side of the building is angled toward the neighboring urban district and cascades downward with a series of landscaped terraces. A small public passage climbs the terraces up to a rooftop viewing platform. Beyond its more functional purpose, the passage is also intended to help connect the residential units to each other and foster a stronger community.

Winding around the building and continuing into the water is a promenade filled with public programs. As it stretches into the water it forms an archipelago of islands with houseboats, a sailing school, and floating gardens.

In addition to the zero-energy residences, the construction process is designed to reduce environmental impact by limiting CO2 emissions and using renewable resources throughout the building.


Rendering courtesy of BIG.

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