AmsterdamFrits van Dongen/ de Architekten Cie.

A New Standard

In 1996 Frits van Dongen was asked to design an apartment building in a spectacular location in the Plantagebuurt area of Amsterdam. But development of the almost rectangular site at the junction of Nieuwe Herengracht and Entrepotdok proved to be no easy task. Given the limited dimensions (33 x 55 m) only two options were possible. A development based on wide, shallow houses, type B as they are known in Van Dongen’s jargon, or development based on narrow, deep houses. The first would result in a patio block, the second in a solid block. Neither option was satisfactory in the eyes of the client, who wanted a housing block with grandeur. Van Dongen managed to break the deadlock by combining the two principles. ‘The -inclusion of three deep dwellings in the block with shallow apartments creates problems but also introduces some nice touches to an otherwise monotonous block,’ Van Dongen says in the interview elsewhere in this publication…