Bureau Fraai

High-end transformation to 48 urban lofts

With the transformation into urban lofts, BNLA architects and Bureau Fraai are upgrading two desolate towers in the Delftlandplein neighborhood in Amsterdam West. With this, the development of the towers joins the group of new residential complexes at Delftlandplein and its immediate surroundings. The project is unique in that it is a partial repurposing that gives the building and the neighborhood a boost, while at the same time doing justice to the original composition of the facade in terms of design.

The two 1960s residential towers are part of an ensemble of four towers, designed by functionalist architect Piet Zanstra, and each features a cantilevered shell with offices. The mantels have been repurposed into compact high-end loft apartments, fitting into the “StartSmart living concept” developed by Nobillon Vastgoed. In the process, the old structure of the towers was respected and forms the basis for the new apartments. To realize the maximum number of apartments, the architects put together an intensive puzzle of floor plans. This maximized the use of the available floor areas and created as many quality apartments as possible.

The facades of the collars had aged significantly over the years and various modifications deprived the mantles of their quality. Zanstra’s original façade design and the building’s original characteristics were the starting points for new façades with metal frames. By replacing the Trespa panels with transparent facades, the facade regained its original “open” character. By providing each apartment with its own loggia, the closed and anonymous collars were opened up. This, in addition to creating a pleasant outdoor space for residents, has also created more connection with the surrounding ground level, resulting in better social control. This was enhanced with a new lighting plan under the collar and redesign of the outdoor space.

The neglected entrance was upgraded to luxury lobby and now serves as the meeting place for residents. This stems from the belief that a healthy social life is essential for a high quality of life. Partly for this reason, all common areas have been materialized to a high standard and designed in detail.

A 3D furniture object was introduced in each loft that accommodates kitchen, bathroom, closets and mezzanine with loft bed and elegantly divides the space. In the process, a beautiful contrast was created between the raw concrete construction of the building and the refined wooden interior elements. The coexistence of these different materials and structures encapsulates past and present in a harmonious design that is both industrial and luxurious.

The process has resulted in an enrichment of the environment. The 48 different high-end lofts will bring young professionals to the neighborhood and bring new momentum to the street. The collaboration between BNLA Architects and Bureau Fraai combines the best of both parties with a successful result: high-end living in a high-end residential building built-and remodeled-under architecture.

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