Paul de Ruiter


Multi-generational urban accommodation

Groenmarkt s2
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The Groenmarkt is situated between the Singelgracht and the Marnixstraat, on a site that was once home to a long-established farmers market known as the Appeltjesmarkt (Groenmarkt means “farmers market”). This elegant development, with its blend of residential and commercial accommodation, consists of two standalone buildings set amid a park-like environment in an urban-agriculture-friendly spot in the heart of Amsterdam. Our goal wasn't merely to create an energy-neutral complex, but also to provide residential and commercial accommodation of exceptional quality. The result, a rectangular quayside block on the Singelgracht canal and a smaller apartment block on the Marnixstraat, both overlooking and separated by an intimate public park.

A diverse society is a healthy one

A lifetime in the Jordaan

Our design includes a mix of apartment types, to facilitate generational variety between neighbours. We also wanted to make it possible for residents to remain in the complex as they moved through the different stages of life. The idea of generation-proof accommodation thus became our starting point. As a result, all apartments are single-storey and lift-accessible. The ground floor comprises thirteen rent-subsidized apartments for the elderly, their safety credentials emphasized by dedicated main entrances situated to face the enclosed courtyard. We also placed two commercial units on this floor, to add a bit of vibrant life. The three upper floors consist of owner-occupied apartments that increase in size with each storey, thereby providing accommodation for younger couples as well as families.

One facade for the street, another for the canal

To keep the block overlooking the Marnixstraat in sympathy with its surroundings, its street-side facade embodies a contemporary interpretation of the street’s existing architectural style, and is proportioned accordingly. The Marnixstraat is a busy street, but we have avoided potential noise pollution from below by placing all of this block’s bedrooms on the quiet, shady side of the building.

Homage to the Appeltjesmarkt

Rooftop vegetable gardens and the intimate, enclosed public courtyard, which boasts an apple orchard, indirectly reference the site’s fruit-stall heritage. Espaliered trees line the south-facing facades, and bear fruit at convenient height for picking. The apartment block on the Singelgracht features a wide, triple-height cavity in the form of a passageway that opens out onto a pier on the canal-side. This pier is a nod to the old quays, and serves as link between the two apartment blocks.

Project details


Total floor area 5.654 m² (4.011 m² residential accommodation, 1.288 m² parking, 355 m² retail)
Project Two residential blocks with commercial space, an urban park and underground parking
Start of design January 2015


Client The City of Amsterdam
Project architect Paul de Ruiter
Tender team Noud Paes, Jan Lebbink, Martijn van Gameren, Ramona Enache, Nikola Miloradovic

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