Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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On the outskirts of the old city center of Amsterdam, on a small piece of land next to Paradiso, a foreign type of building is proposed. Although it holds great urban and economic value due to its attractive location - het landje has never been built on. Surrounded by strictly formal 18th and 19th century neo-classical buildings, this unclaimed land undermines the narrative and mainstream perception of the city of Amsterdam.
Through a local interpretation of the Israeli absorption centers, the project proposes a place of transition and integration for immigrants and refugees - a population which is becoming increasingly present in Dutch cities, and is often considered a cultural, economic and political threat by locals. In this light, the project offers two-sided integration, which not only actively welcomes newcomers to the heart of Amsterdam, but also creates an unmediated positive interaction between them and the local population.
Comprised of three timber structures, the center adapts its character and functions when confronting the different urban situations around it. The main building, facing Weteringschans street, hosts a three-story high workshop, which offers an intensive connection between the lively activity it accommodates and the street. Its size, proportions and palace-like façade attempt to echo its formal surroundings, while not concealing the exposed wood. To the southwest, a two-story building facing the canal provides a temporary housing solution for five residents, referring to the Dutch boathouse typology. A courtyard connects the workshop and the house, creating an intimate open-air room as the heart of a sequence of indoor and outdoor spaces: workshop, corridor, house; street, courtyard, canal.