Steigereiland Kavel 114 in Amsterdam, Netherlands by Architoop, 2007.
Steigereiland is an infill island in the eastern district of Lake IJsselmeer. It has been developed as a low-scale, mixed-use neighborhood comprised of small lots (6m x 25m; 20' x 80') with buildings around 3-5 stories. The resulting fabric is fine-grain and extremely varied, with bold contemporary expressions in brick, wood, concrete, and glass. It's like a blank canvas filled by Dutch architects with few restrictions.
This project at the T-intersection of Jan Olphert Vaillantlaan and Gerald Hulst van Keulenstraat was developed by the de Landman-Hesselink family as a single-family residence with two office/studio spaces. Spread across five floors, a fashion designer's studio occupies the ground floor, an architecture studio is one floor above, and "a comfortable living space" sits on top. The small mixed-use project (280sm; 3,000sf) was designed by Amsterdam's Architoop. (The architects and studio PLOT occupy the two studio spaces.)
Two distinguishing characteristics are predominant in the identity to be developed for Steigereiland: the presence of large-scale urban and landscape elements, and the concept of self-commissioned housing ... As far as possible, jobs on most islands will be mixed in with housing. -Masterplan Steigereiland
Tying these functions together in the five-story container is the South African slate that covers the front and rear facades. These shingles have a unique appearance from their composition: they are held apart from their neighbors and stagger as they overlap. This gives the stone skin an appearance like fish scales or like a fabric. Subtle variety in this homogeneous wrapper comes in the form of the window openings, which vary in size and orientation based on the spaces behind. On both the front and rear facades, the studio spaces are tied together in a double-height expression, while none of the windows for the residence repeat. The slate shingles actually wrap into the windows, giving the impression that the openings are cut into the stone skin.
Inside the palette is sparse -- concrete floors/ceilings, white stucco walls, powder coated steel railings -- congealing into what the architects' call "a light industrial accent." Here we can see the relationship between the spaces and the windows, especially in the residence: the bedrooms and bathrooms are given smaller openings, while ribbon windows frame the open living floor. Also of note are the setback and terraced top floor and stairs, which combine to bring a lot of natural light into the three-floor residence.