Solid 11 – Block C
|Architect||Tony Fretton Architects|
|Contractor||Coen Hagedoorn Construction group|
|Project name||Solid 11 – Block C|
|number of residences||39|
Solid 11 – Block C: nominated for the Amsterdam New Construction Prize 2012
Block C is one of three new buildings on the site of the former Wilhelmina Gasthuis from the 1960s. The master plan for the site, by Belgian architect Jo Crepain, is based on three separate new buildings that, unlike the enormous size of the demolished hospital, would again match the building lines and scale of the nineteenth-century environment. The two buildings that have already been completed offer space for social housing, free sector apartments and a psychiatric care institution. The third building, Block C, is a 'Solid', a concept devised by the client with a view to sustainability. The spaces in a Solid are delivered as a shell, so that the users themselves can give them a living and / or work function. In Block C this concept has been elaborated by designing a series of spaces without defined functions. The spaces invite different uses. For example, the top floors can accommodate penthouses, but also offices, restaurants or childcare. The floors each house different outdoor spaces: balconies, a courtyard as an extension of the street or roof gardens.
Het Parool about Solid 11 – Block C: Built for two centuries
The name is as prosaic as a car type: Solid 11 WG Oost Blok C. Yet it is a special building, on the edge of the former Wilhelmina Gasthuisterrein. No rules, no barriers, go ahead. With all its advantages and disadvantages. De Solid is the brainchild of Frank Bijdendijk, former director of housing corporation Het Oosten (now Stadgenoot). His idea was to build a building that would be delivered as bare as possible and within which all functions are possible. Bijdendijk had been inspired by the canal houses, which had constantly changed destination over the centuries: from warehouse to house, from house to office. The first Solids are now there; one in IJburg and one in Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat, where the ugly Swammerdam Institute used to be. The Solid in West houses 28 rental homes, 15 of which are for social tenants. Everyone could bid in an auction to acquire square meters; the minimum stake was six euros monthly rent for one square meter. “We had to get experimental status from the state and the municipality,” explains Gerard Anderiesen (58), director of Stadgenoot. “It is incredibly difficult, because with the existing laws and regulations it makes quite a difference whether a building has a residential or a business purpose.” Bart Mijnster (30) lives with his girlfriend Anke in a social rental home. “I had offered 650 euros, about the maximum for social rent, and for that I got a hull space of 68 square meters. My parents saw this building being built and had tipped me off. ” That 'hull' may be taken as literally as possible. “There was only a meter cupboard, a water connection and a heating group. So it is entirely up to you what you do with that space. It is more than three meters high, so that you can conceal everything under the floor and behind a suspended ceiling. ” The building, designed by British architect Tony Fretton, has a special build quality. “The requirement was that it could be guaranteed to remain in place for two hundred years,” says Kees Bakker (53), contractor for Coen Hagedoorn Bouwgroep. “We have never had a project like this before. It all had to be made from the best materials on the market. The building is heated with geothermal energy from a source at a depth of 180 meters; on top of the roof is an installation that recovers solar heat. ” The big question is, of course, whether the experiment was successful. The answer: well, not quite. Slightly less than half of the space has been auctioned as a home. The rest, about three thousand square meters, is filled by hotels. “That's more than we thought before,” admits Anderiesen, “and it creates quite a bit of tension. The residents are also bothered by the fact that many tenants are still building for a long time themselves. The last hotel was only completed just before last summer. ” Indeed, the complaint that almost all residents noted during the survey into their living pleasure concerns the hotels and their guests. They mainly mention nuisance caused by noise (and sometimes weed smell). Nevertheless, they are otherwise very satisfied, with an 8.4 as a report mark. But the five judges who selected the ten projects had their reservations. “Beautiful materials have been used,” judges Jolanda Koeman (52), “but the fact that there are so many hotels in the building is serious.” Rachmat Botter (34) even thinks that it is not in the top ten for that reason, it takes a lot of deliberation before the jury still places the Solid among the nominees – because of its unique concept.