|Client||Hillen and Roosen|
|Architect||Geusebroek Stefanova architectural firm|
|Project name:||The Monk|
|Contractor||Hillen and Roosen|
De Monnik: winner of the Amsterdam New Construction Prize 2007 De Monnik's design builds on the urban development and architectural characteristics of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Amsterdam with the separate allotment and manner of facade layout. On an architectural level, the plan is a contemporary interpretation of the old town. De Monnik consists of nine buildings that are individually recognizable in the street scene. It contains 32 apartments, which vary in size from 42 to 80 m2. The maisonettes on the ground floor and the first floor are accessible from the street, the apartments on the floors have a porch access. The plan is made of different shades of brown-black brick. The many windows are framed by wooden frames and zinc.
Het Parool about De Monnik: Impossible place: narrow streets with whore windows
The most difficult residential project of the ten competing for the New Construction Prize is without a doubt De Monnik. This block of 32 apartments is located between Bloedstraat and Monnikenstraat along the Gordijnensteeg, in the middle of the Red Light District. When the power station of Nuon that stood there was no longer needed, a piece of land remained in an impossible place: narrow streets with whore windows all around. But the city wanted housing there. A previous developer went wrong, says Bas Kluts of developer Hillen & Roosen. And I understand that. He wanted a parking garage for ten cars, downstairs business premises and upstairs large houses. That will never work financially. That doesn't fit here either. Hillen & Roosen was brought in because this company already had a lot of experience with building in the city center. The architects Peter Geusebroek and Svetla Stefanova have also made a name for themselves in that area. The most important task was: to create a façade that receives the approval of the Welstandscommission in one go, says Kluts. And that worked. Geusebroek and Stefanova were guided by the traditional image in the center. The facades change height, the level of the floors is staggered, the facades are even built to flee, leaning slightly forward, as you can see throughout the old town. It is a facade with guts, praised Pablo Herrera, member of the jury that selected the top ten: Quality has been carefully considered. The finish and details are extraordinary, judged jury member René Berbee. And Ans van der Hall called the space very well laid out. Behind the facade are compact apartments, intended for Amsterdammers who want to live in the middle of the city. No families with children. And indeed the apartments have all been sold to Amsterdammers; within a month they were gone. Prices varied from 177,500 euros for fifty square meters to 245,000 for seventy meters. No parking space, no balcony, no garden. But an indoor bicycle shed. And special facilities, because of the special place. The Centrum district has even given a subsidy to adapt the facades. There are large vertical blinds in front of the windows at the bottom to prevent a view. Pegs on the windowsills are to deter hangers and seats. The residents have now been there for a year and a half and are extremely satisfied; they gave a score of 9.8. The building's appearance is great, they noted, new, but in the style of the neighborhood. Finally a building that has been thought about. Everyone keeps on talking about the noise of whore runners and bachelor parties, Karin van Rheenen (36) immediately raises this point herself, but on Sunday morning it is like a quiet village here. People greet each other, including the ladies across the street. It is all very social. After a year of wandering in sublet, she is now happy to have her own house. I really wanted to live in the bustle, and it is even better than I thought. Where in the city is your street hosed down every day? You don't have to feel unsafe at all; there are a lot of police, there are cameras, there are always a lot of people. Van Rheenen has sold her car. That was quite a step. But you can get everywhere by public transport. I no longer miss my car.