The starting point for this development was the ambition of the Dutch Housing Association ‘Ymere’ to create a residential complex enabling local elderly people to continue living independently, without being forced to relocate when any health issues require more space and care. The result is a building complex consisting of 22 sustainable apartments specifically designed for elderly people and four larger community homes that provide 24/7 on-site care for people with dementia. The development is a 50/50 split between social housing and free market rent apartments.
Besides supporting the needs of elderly people, the project was also an opportunity to regenerate this part of the city: a nineteenth century impoverished housing block in Westerpark, next to the famous World Heritage canal ring in the centre of Amsterdam. The challenge was to design two five-storey buildings with new façades that respect the architectural style of the canal ring, but at the same time are a modern interpretation of the historical language of architecture.
Designed by Architect Liesbeth Janson Accoya Structural wood was used for columns, and Accoya wood for the decking of the verandas and for the windows frames of the corridors and garden pavilion. Accoya makes the façades in the courtyard look softer and the white brick walls nearly disappear behind the wooden veranda construction. The choice for Accoya wood was not only based on its quality and appearance, but also because of its strength, low maintenance costs and sustainable characteristics. The one-storey buildings in the garden all feature green roof decks.