De Jakoba, a 135-unit complex in the Amsterdam district of Manhattan at the IJ bay, eschews the utilitarian approach so often applied in social housing design. The team at local firm Studioninedots created a building that bends at the centre and tapers upward, each floor slightly smaller than the one below it. The wraparound balconies and the vertical fins between the windows — all made of green concrete that catches the sunlight — lend a rhythmic consistency to an otherwise irregular structure. The multi-storey atrium imbues the site with grandeur. More than just an affordable place to live, De Jakoba is a neighbourhood landmark.
Team: Albert Herder, Vincent van der Klei, Metin van Zijl and Stijn de Jongh with Erik Hoogendam, Mai Bogø and Ania Bozek; Dura Vermeer; Buro Sant en Co; Strackee; Byldis; Nieman Raadgevende Ingenieurs and VDNDP
Amsterdam’s De Jakoba development eschews the utilitarian approach so often applied in social housing design.