Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Whale Housing

de Architekten Cie's Whale Housing Project is one of Amsterdam's more modern show-stoppers. Built in 2000, this mammoth stucture was designed to accomodate a city-block of apartments while still appearing sculptural and weightless. To achieve this effect, the building has been raised and its roofs slanted. Underneath the residential structure is a level of glassed commercial space and bicycle parking; underneath that, an underground parking garage. Another important concept to the Whale's design was maximization of sunlight. The sloping aluminum roof allows light to reach an inner courtyard, which is illuminated throughout the day. Other unique features of this building are the exterior staircases, providing a secondary means of circulation to the main stiarcases; the halls that wrap around the interior, allowing glimpses of the courtyard; and the customizable interiors of the Whale's varying rooms.
Greg Scarmo

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