Amsterdam. A Janus-faced residential architecture by NL Architects

Klencke is a rectilinear building which defines a filter between urbanity and nature, through its distinctive stepped profile.

NL Architects, Klencke, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2017

The most characterizing feature of Klencke, the residential building designed by NL Architects in the Amsterdam Zuid neighborhood, is its stepped profile. The massive slab, including 50 units of as many as 14 different layouts, is a Janus-faced architecture. Thanks to the setback of its levels, it relates to the multifaceted context where it stands through various, specific strategies.
The north elevation, looking towards the booming Zuidas financial downtown, is a compact front cantilevering over the city. The elevated walkways, providing access to each flat, replicate the direction of the flows along the street on the ground level. A counterpart to this efficient façade, mainly intended as a distribution area, is the south elevation, a space for domestic hedonism. 

Large balconies in full sun open up on a wide green corridor, following the paths of an artificial canal through the metropolitan area. Hence, the surface of all the flats (relatively tiny in their standard configurations) is multiplied, and their inhabitants are projected into the cozy environment of a man-made nature. In NL Architects’ words, Klencke acts as “a ‘switch’ between urbanity and greenery”.
According to an increasingly widespread habit, common to most “vertical woods” all over the world, the design and the maintenance of every balcony’s greenery is centralized and outsourced to the care of a landscape designer, a knowledgeable caretaker for this “collective vertical park”, as NL Architects describe it.

NL Architects, Klencke, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2017
NL Architects, Klencke, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2017
residential building
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
NL Architects
Design team:
Gerbrand van Oostveen with Bobby de Graaf, Kirsten Hüsig, Katarina Labathova, Laura Riaño Lopez, Gert Jan Machiels, Giulia Pastore, Elsa Snyder, Jose Ramon Vives, Gen Yamamoto
Landscape design:
Jos van de Lindeloof
Structural engineering:
Mechanical engineering:
NL Development

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