The main concept for the design of the project, Pontsteiger Pier, for 225-250 residences with commercial spaces in the ports of Amsterdam, was to choose the concept of the “Mini-City” rather than the “Mega building”. This choice originates from our analysis of the location and the developer’s requirements, combined with the following main points which we find essential for succeeding in this project:
The building must form a land-mark upon entering the city. It marks the neighborhood and the border between 18th century Amsterdam and the 20th century extension to the river IJ.
In addition to highrises, the plan contains lowrise structures and townhouses. This differentiation is crucial in the realization of an interesting and livable domestic environment and generates several alternatives [house differentiation].
To form a differentiated city-model with an organic character, the L-system has been applied. The advantage of this system is that it follows the logic of ‘branching’. In this case, branching seems to be an efficient and innovative method to create the desired differentiation in the housing blocks, which vary from high [2 towers of 60 and 90m] to low [a closed housing-block], to a series of low townhouses on the river. The Branching thus creates a neighborhood with internal protected green courtyards, which connects to the social spaces on the ground floor and the gym ‘bridge’ which connects the volumes on the 4th floor.