Completing a jigsaw on an Amsterdam postage stamp – in fact, the plot destined for Fibonnaci is closer to a nonchalantly sliced piece of cake, sandwiched between the railway and the busy Panamalaan. Still, diederendirrix has succeeded in creating a striking urban design that fits, is feasible, and where 243 households will soon be able to live happily, without being disturbed by the bustle of the city around them.
The architects for the project were selected back in 2015, but the challenging boundary conditions put strains on the process. The size, shape, and location of the plot were difficult to match with the demand for large-scale affordable rental properties on the site – at least, they were with the traditional approach. Instead, developer Vorm shifted to an innovative approach for this urban densification project by bringing implementing parties around the table early on to tackle the project’s hurdles. As the supervising architect, diederendirrix succeeded in presenting a distinctive building design that not only creates a unique living environment, but that is easy to implement without excessive disruption to the local area.
This tiny plot next to the railway will soon be home to a striking building that accommodates 243 rental apartments, and yet, it will never come to dominate the skyline of Amsterdam. It is a graduated, finely detailed design with a different look from each side thanks to the subtle rotation of the three building volumes. The magic word when it comes to feasibility is ‘prefabricated’. This means that the elements for the project are produced elsewhere beforehand, including the main load-bearing structure, the floors, external façades and windows, wooden atrium façades and galleries, bathrooms, and kitchens. With an ‘assembly kit’ like this for each floor, you no longer need a large construction site, you can do away with scaffolding, and save time in the process – it’s estimated that this kind of approach requires a construction time of just 2.5 years.
Living around an atrium
The apartments in Fibonacci will be relatively small studios in the social rent and mid-range segment, which will be rented by Stadgenoot. The chaos of the city will be kept at bay thanks to soundproofed façades with impressive urban windows. Instead of balconies on the exterior, the plan incorporates space inside the walls and on the roofs for communal ‘outdoor’ spaces. As soon as you walk through the large, open access door, you will find yourself in a spacious, glass-covered atrium that continues through all three volumes. In this oasis of calm, you can forget about wind, rain, and the noise of the city, while light and air will be abundant. Here too, as on the wide galleries, there will be ample space to meet outdoors.
Roof gardens and nest boxes
The community living concept is supported by a number of shared facilities on the ground floor, including a launderette and a bicycle repair shop for residents. Eye-catchers on the roof of the lower building sections include two large roof gardens where residents can come together to enjoy the greenery. The tallest tower will also have a green roof fitted with small, helix-shaped wind turbines (Windwokkel™) to generate sustainable energy. As a key link in the main ecological structure of the city, the area will remain the domain of birds and insects, which can make their homes in the nest boxes on the façades and the insect hotels in the gardens. With a series of smart interventions, this otherwise unused part of the city will be transformed into a pleasant location for people and animals alike.