GAK De Studio


 
Bos en Lommerplantsoen
Bos en Lommer
Amsterdam
Ben Merkelbach (1963)
Wessel de Jonge architecten, ZECC architecten (renovatie)
Stadgenoot, AM, BLP1 Properties
2013
Dit gebouw was genomineerd voor de Gouden A.A.P. 2014.
2013
Wonen

Transformation project GAK – from offices to dwellings for students and first-time buyers

Along the A10, on Bos en Lommerplantsoen, is a gigantic glass building, the former GAK offices. Where office clerks once toiled, in a – for those days – hypermodern office building, there now live students and first-time buyers in the housing market.

The offices were built in 1960 for the industrial insurance administration office GAK and were designed by the architect Ben Merkelbach (1901-1961). Merkelbach was Amsterdam’s city architect and, moreover, was one of the leading lights of the architectural style the Nieuwe Bouwen, the Dutch branch of the Modern Movement.

In the design, careful consideration was given to the fact that three thousand people would be working in the building by taking the human scale as the starting point. This can be seen, for example, in the large number of windows, the extra large windows in the canteens (one on each floor) and the roof terrace on the eleventh storey, which was accessible to all the building’s users. Moreover, the offices had clusters of desks called ‘villages’, each with a different colour. The building’s depth (nineteen metres) was based on the maximum range of the air conditioning.

In 2005 the building fell vacant and following various feasibility studies, AM and Stadgenoot finally developed a viable plan for its reuse with commercial units in the base and studio dwellings for first-time buyers above.

The Studio, as the redevelopment project is called, contains 551 apartments for students and first-time buyers spread over eleven storeys. The north wing was completed in 2013 and contains 320 dwellings. Architectural office Wessel De Jong designed living spaces in the strict grid of the former office spaces in accordance with a standard module. The second phase will comprise a further 331 dwellings in three different sizes, ranging from approx. 28 m2 to approx. 47 m2 living space. Some of the dwellings are intended for the rental sector for students, the rest will be sold for prices below 100,000 euros.
The ground floor and the basement, which will house small businesses and meeting spaces, were designed by Zecc architects. Sections of the original floor have been removed, a possibility Merkelbach had incorporated in his design, giving rise to superb double-height spaces. (YK)


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Sorry, this entry is only available in Dutch.

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