Overview in images of GEUS, a project by Space Encounters Office for Architecture

About GEUS, a project by Space Encounters Office for Architecture

GEUS is a stacked, sustainable residential neighbourhood in Amsterdam West. Space Encounters designed an apartment building with 122 dwellings as a restrained, yet recognizable addition to the verdant ‘Bakema Park’ in which it is situated. The eight meter tall wooden plinth embeds the building in the park, providing a generous entrance and space for neighbourhood activities in direct connection to the communal garden.

The tower has a unique and compact corridor structure that function as spacious interior streets with views to the park, creating a multi-faced residential building that lives on all sides. With a nod to architect Jaap Bakema’s principle of ‘living under the trees, between the trees and above the trees’, the wide variety of housing types are defined by their position in the building. Orientation, views, sunlight and outdoor space have been guiding principles, leading to each house engaging differently with the park trees and street activity.

The design principles also translate into the facades. The frames run out sharply, like lookout windows from every home, infusing the facades of GEUS with a liveliness that shows itself differently each moment of the day. The transparent and inviting qualities of living in a glass building are complemented by the precise positioning and detailing of closed parts that change from finely textured concrete on park level to smoothly polished concrete towards the top of the building. The strong, vibrating rhythm of the horizontals is mixed with a gradient in verticals from plinth to crown.

Characteristic brise-soleil deflect direct sunlight in summer and double as 2500 m2 of surface for PV-panels in perfect angle for collecting solar energy. The flexible structure of GEUS allows the building to house successive generations of residents and various housing types. Integrated nest boxes at assorted heights provide space for a variety of park residents as birds, bats and butterflies.

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