Paul de Ruiter

WoudT Amsterdam

Green living amid a bustling city

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In the Delflandplein neighbourhood, right on the periphery of Amsterdam, lies WoudT, a sustainable residential block designed by the joint team of Paul de Ruiter Architects and PBV Architects. The block stands adjacent to Fiep Westendorp Elementary School, and offers a total of 124 apartments to Amsterdammers hoping for affordable accommodation of high aesthetic and functional design, set amid peace and quiet and within easy reach of the bustling heart of the city.

Housing, Design & Build

Live/work hybrid accommodation

WoudT's façade is composed of multiple, visually distinct elements, which lends the block a lively and playful character. A massive, three-storey-high cavity halfway along the block provides passage to a vast courtyard garden at the heart of the complex and houses the entrances to the apartments above. The twelve-storey building accommodates 124 three-room apartments of varying size. The ground-floor section at the corner of the Voorburgstraat is designed for business occupation. This section allows for much flexibility regarding subdivision and configuration, and as a result can accommodate a variety of businesses. The section includes six apartments with their own ground floor entrances for first-time entrepreneurs in need of hybrid accommodation: i.e. residential accommodation with in-built workspace of modest proportions. The rear of this live/work section opens out onto a raised platform that overlooks and leads to the courtyard garden.

Green public space

The courtyard garden abuts Fiep Westendorp Elementary's schoolyard. The Abtswoudepad, a path leading to the Voorburgstraat, cuts through the courtyard, and both path and courtyard garden are open to the public. The garden includes a greenhouse and vegetable garden for use by both local residents and the school's pupils. Nature is hereby used to provide experiential value and promote the idea of shared public space.

The courtyard garden is a public space that encourages locals to commune with nature

Environmentally friendly parking

The underground parking facility is for residents only. The 115-car facility consists of two sections connected by a ramp. The entrance and exit are on the Maassluisstraat. This section is completely below ground level, and includes bicycle parking for up to 76 bikes. The section abutting the Voorburgstraat is only half-sunken, and includes bicycle parking for 50 bikes and 10 electric vehicle charging stations, the latter powered by the block's own solar energy plant. The roof of the semi-sunken section forms part of the landscape design, as it is covered in soil of sufficient depth to allow trees to grow, thereby providing additional green space.

Collaborative design

Local residents and stakeholders were involved in the design process from the very beginning. Thus, decisions about what to include in the public space and which facilities to make up for in light of their dearth in the neighbourhood were made collaboratively. This ensured that the ideas we tested were actually desired, and allowed us to include the top preferences in the final design.

Eco-friendly living

The apartments are designed to take maximum advantage of sunlight, for the purpose of both heating and illumination, and the building is equipped to minimise its energy consumption. The energy-saving measures include solar panels on the roof, light sensors and premium quality insulation. Our concern for the health and well-being of both the building's residents and the environment is further reflected in the way fresh air is admitted into and channelled through the building, as well as in our use of sustainable materials for the building's construction and in the many ways the building facilitates contact with the natural environment.

Project details


Address Voorburgstraat, Amsterdam
Total floor area 15,150 m²
Project description 124 residences, business space and a parking garage
Start of design October 2013
Start of construction April 2016
Completion Mid 2017


Design Paul de Ruiter Architects, PBV Architecten
Project architect Paul de Ruiter
Project team Martijn van Gameren, Florina Raileanu
Construction consultant Van Rossum
Installations consultant Hiensch
Contractor Hillen & Roosen
Photography Sonia Arrepia

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