|Architect||Quist Wintermans Architekten|
|Contractor||At the Stegge|
Aquinohof: nominated for the Amsterdam New Construction Prize 2007
The Thomas van Aquino church has been demolished on the corner of Rijnstraat, Lekstraat and Vechtstraat. At the vacant location at the head of this closed building block, a new building has been realized consisting of 34 apartments for the elderly. On the ground floor, commercially rentable spaces and a service center have been realized. A two-storey car park under the building also provides parking spaces for local residents. In Nieuw-Zuid, at the Lekstraat, there is a turning point from expressionist masonry to a tighter, more reserved brick architecture from the late twenties and thirties. The latter brick architecture of the surrounding blocks on Rijnstraat was taken as the starting point in the mass structure and facade composition. The facades are built in a yellow nuanced coal-fired molded brick. The inside of the building has a more intimate character. The houses here are in a U-shape around the communal courtyard. The wide wooden decks serve as access and outdoor space for the houses. This south-oriented white wooden inner world thus forms a pleasant covered extension of the houses.
Het Parool Aquinohof: Guests are here to marvel in silence
It is really nice to live here, ”says Ria Hulzebos (58). “Everything you need is around you, and you're out of town in no time. Public transport is excellent, Amstel and RAI stations are nearby. ”The customer review has been automatically translated from Dutch. Hulzebos and her husband Ruud Pool (64) have been living in Aquinohof with great satisfaction since April 2006, that is clear. Although they also regret that the Thomaskerk, on the corner of Rijnstraat and Lekstraat in Zuideramstel, had to be demolished for their new home. The church from 1925 was indeed a fine example of the Amsterdam School and anything but a ruin. But yes, not enough believers. The new building looks fairly modest. Too modest, according to some members of the jury that compiled the top ten. “The detailing could have been a bit more extensive,” said René Berbee, himself an architect. The designer of the building, Paul Wintermans (56) of Quist Wintermans Architecten in Rotterdam, explains that it was precisely his intention to make the new building fit in well with the environment. “It is contemporary, but not an object that stands on its own.” That is exactly why he was asked by developer De Principaal. “I had recently designed a large residential building on Balboaplein, which is also embedded in buildings from the Amsterdam School.” Moreover, it involved a combination of houses and a school, while the Aquinohof, in addition to the houses, also contains two parking layers under the ground and a care center on the ground floor. But as unassuming as the outside is, that's how surprisingly the inside unfolds. Wintermans: “The communal area on the way to the houses faces south. This has created a kind of ship decks where the elderly residents can meet each other. ” The jury thought those courtyards were beautiful; especially for that reason the Aquinohof went through to the last ten. The Aquinohof has been built especially for the elderly. Ten of the 34 rental apartments are intended for tenants with a physical disability. All homes are 'age-proof' and already prepared for special facilities. It was precisely this intention that dampened the protest in the area against the demolition of the church. Hulzebos and Pool lived nearby, in the Boterdiepstraat. “We were looking for a new rental home in which I had room for a practice at home,” says Hulzebos. Here she and her husband have an apartment of 120 square meters, for which they have to pay 1,300 euros per month, including service costs and a garage in the basement. For that money, the house offers a fully equipped kitchen and a spacious bathroom. And so that ship's deck-like outdoor space, which could use some finery – a number of containers with plants would work wonders. This complaint can also be found in the survey forms that were returned from the Aquinohof. As well as all modern electronics – for video connections and doors swinging open – which are often incomprehensible, especially for the elderly. Or break quickly. But the positive reactions predominate; the residents gave an average of 8.5. Spacious homes, the outdoor terraces, safety, it all contribute to the high score. “Every guest pauses to be amazed when the elevator doors open.” Plus the cosiness of the Rijnstraat: “Just like a village, where all shopkeepers and other people treat each other very friendly.”