Hans van Heeswijk Architectshome
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Cultural & Educational Center Ganzenhoef
Amsterdam 1999-2007

Building block over 6 layers with covered atrium and an open patio
Housing on the top, educational centre in the middle and public facilities on the ground floor, parking underground.
Gross floor surface 19.500 m2
Commissioned by SFB vastgoed bv, Amsterdam

At the beginning of the 90’s, twenty years after its conception, the southeastern extension of Amsterdam needed a complete overhaul. The aim was to replace too much of the same by more variation. New low-rise housing is taking the place of apartment buildings and, most importantly: much-needed facilities are being added. Culture to get to know each other better, education to get ahead in the world. As open as possible.

CEC Ganzenhoef offers just that. Functionally, it combines a teaching center with a place for various cultural activities. Spatially, it’s accessible and transparent. And from an urban planning viewpoint, it’s an example of compact land use, with a combination of housing on top and cars parked underground.

Outside, the crescent of the south wing embraces and shelters the green courtyard of the preserved apartment building. Inside, the atrium opens up to daylight above and welcomes neighborhood people. What appears to be an aloof building from a distance, turns out to be accessible from closer up.

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