Twentieth-century canal-house

Singel 428
A. Cahen, J. Koning, J.P.C. Girod
Tram 1-4-5-16-20-24-25
D. van Hooff, J. van der Werf, G. Goethals, Langs moderne architectuur. Architectuurroutes in Nederland en Belgiƫ, 1945-heden, Utrecht 1994.

Canal building in concrete skeleton framework

On Singel in Amsterdam, the residential/retail premises built to a design by Abel Cahen is a striking structure amid the historic canal buildings. In the basement is a retail or commercial space, above which are three dwellings and a maisonette. Cahen has sought to tie in this modern canal building with the scale and size of the surrounding development along the canal.

The building consists of prefabricated concrete basic elements, which can be spandrel panels, window ledge or lintel. By staggering these facade elements, the facade acquires depth. Because of the use of modern-looking prefabricated concrete, the design was rejected fourteen times by the amenities inspectorate.

An unusual feature is the transition from the public street via a reinterpretation of the seventeenth-century doorstep to the building’s entrance. The round concrete column near the entrance which becomes a square column symbolizes the bend in Singel on this site. (ARCAM/VK)