OLAF GIPSER ARCHITECTS X SMARTLAND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS X HEUTINK GROEP X BOUWGROEP CPO BSH20A
The 45-meter-high wooden residential building Stories in Buiksloterham in Amsterdam-Noord responds to the challenges of densely populated, communal, sustainable and healthy urban living. The self-build project combines a habitat for people, animals and plants. It is built largely with biobased materials from renewable sources and uses ‘open building’ principles to meet future needs. The project came about as a collective private commission (CPO) in which close collaboration between professionals and residents took shape. In an inclusive and democratic process, they worked together to define the desired sustainability ambitions, objective and location of the communal spaces and to set up a story café with a social programme.
With Stories, Olaf Gipser Architects touches on many complex and urgent design and construction issues of our time, such as the use of sustainable construction materials, nature inclusivity within the construction industry, collectivity and urban densification. Stories shows how limits can be pushed within specific assignments without needing an overly exuberant visual language. The close collaboration with users deserves extra praise. It is commendable that attention has also been paid to a hybrid building, following the principle of ‘open construction’. The building is flexible and thereby equipped to suit changing needs and context. A fresh, elegant and consistent looking building. Stories is a beacon for innovative housing in an urban location.