Tower House

The Towerhouse fills one of the last remaining leftover spaces in the centre of Amsterdam with a house spread over five levels. Occupying a confined site of thirty two square meters at the intersection of the Canal District and the Jordaan, the house is positioned right on the border of the World Heritage designated area. This position provided a unique opportunity to add a contemporary layer to the neighbourhood, and represents the culmination of a ten year collaborative process with the clients. Rising over five floors the building’s interior twists and turns around a steep staircase, providing a variety of views in a number of directions: from the public life of the Brouwersgracht to the intimate interiors of the Willemsstraat. The fifth floor terrace frames further perspectives out over the rooftops of the city towards the IJ river. Structurally this is a timber building, prefabricated in the workshop and delivered to site on trucks. It is simultaneously a modern sustainable structure combining light, locally sourced materials with efficient assembly techniques, all coordinated by a family-run contractor. The pre-oxidised zinc sheeting of both the roof and the facade merges with the warm brick colour of the street, allowing one to see it, and yet not see it. Due to it’s chameleonic nature, the Towerhouse has managed to quietly slip a contemporary, sustainable structure into one of Amsterdam’s most prized heritage areas, a gentle challenge to all the rules and preconceived ideas that may resist it.

The zinc facade emits light similarly to those of its neighbours, yet looks radically different upon closer inspection.
photo © Iwan Baan

Sneak preview of @ladahrsak’s incredibly clever and beautifully detailed Tower House. Occupying a triangular leftover space at the intersection of Amsterdam’s canal district and the Jordaan, right on the border of the World Heritage designated area, the house simultaneously absorbs and amplifies the shapes and colors of its environment. Rising up to five floors, the building twists and turns around a steep staircase, each time providing new and unexpected views in different directions, from the public life along the Brouwersgracht to the intimacy of the interiors of the houses on Willemsstraat. The house fills up the vacant space like a caterpillar’s cocoon, nestling itself in the cracks and corners of the neighboring building. Each floor has a different program and a specific relationship with its surroundings. It echoes Takamitsu Azuma’s uncompromising bare concrete Tower House in Tokyo, but with its wooden structure and zinc cladding it is a lot more refined and forgiving. Please note: the house is still under construction (but already worth a detour).

— Michiel van Iersel

revealing the overlap of the urban grids characteristic to the Amsterdam Jordaan interiors, at dusk
photo © Iwan Baan

facade perforation

This is a wooden house, delivered to your doorstep. An neighbour call t the 'eco-house'...

The house fits like a key into the site, nestled amongst existing buildings while still allowing sun to enter the house from the Southern facade, which forms a three-storey tall atrium

The site itself was occupied by various buildings throughout the last thee hundred years, but ultimately became an empty slit of land near the corner of Willemstraat and the Brouwersgracht