Friday, October 5, 2007


On our study tour to the Netherlands we visited a well-known housing complex in Amsterdam called the Silodam. This block building houses 157 apartments. In addition to housing, the architects MVRDV, initially had a restaurant and other similar commercial public spaces as part of the design, but due to a lack of parking, only offices co-exist with the residential. The stacked multi-colored levels mimic the shipping containers seen in the harbor. These different colors and changes in the elevations categorize the different types of apartment clusters. These different types of housing are highly sought after because of their flexibility. There are many different sizes of apartments, single and multi-story, but there is one simple floor plan. This allows the tenant to design the interior according to their needs. For example, they can choose where they want their interior walls to be constructed in order to have narrow or wide spaces. Also interesting, the parking for the tenants is in an automatic parking system located under the ground level. The tenants park their car in the transfer parking area and a mechanical lift moves the car to the appropriate rack underground. When the tenant is ready to leave, they can call the car up remotely from their apartment and it will be in the transfer parking area when they get down from their apartment. Finally, the view from every apartment is the surrounding city of Amsterdam and its many canals.

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