LEVS Podiumlocatie6 min


Optimistic architecture

Podium, Amsterdam

Between the expanding busy city and the spacious and peaceful Sloterplas, a city district is being built with both strong densification and greening. Along the southern side of the plot, LEVS is designing an optimistic residential building with clear horizontal articulation, light materialization of ceramic elements and large windows that provide all homes with plenty of daylight. A clever recess around the auditorium by architect Ingwersen connects two green areas on the north side. Spacious entrance halls lead to a courtyard garden with full ground and a bicycle storage area that is semi-sunken around it. The plan is aimed at starters in the medium-priced rent, who will make extensive use of bicycles and public transport.

An Ingwersen classic

One of the challenges was fitting in the prominent auditorium that protrudes from the adjacent building. The old Calvijn College in Amsterdam New West is a design by Ben Ingwersen from the late 1960s. Before the crisis of 2008, the intention was to demolish it and to build up the plot along Schipluidenlaan from various building blocks. But over time, the building has come to life as a creative breeding ground, including art center the De Appel, and is now appreciated as a wonderful example of New Objectivity architecture. A reappraisal of our architectural history and of its rational, optimistic attitude.

Optimistic architecture

The Podiumlocation design draws inspiration from this. The plinth consists of robust concrete architecture, in which plasticity and variation are introduced through ribbed elements of washed gravel concrete. This feeling is continued above in vertical bands with glazed elements. Between horizontal strips of light yellow bricks, all homes have spacious balconies and large windows. Light, reflection and relief give the facade a changeable character.

A connection with the outside world is sought on all sides. In semi-detached houses on the north and east side, living is possible on two sides, with daylight from front to back. Along the west side, we provide a connection between the living room and the terrace with loggias. Living rooms on the ground floor are slightly raised above the street, subtly making the transition from private to public clear. In addition, on the street, a small neighborhood supermarket is included in the plan, allowing for plenty of life along the facade.

More cycling, more green

From every corner, beautiful entrances with glass or refined fencing provide access to the bicycle shed, which runs semi-sunken around the courtyard garden. An uncluttered bycicle shed with even room for cargo bikes. From the courtyard, daylight penetrates into it and creates an orderly, bright space that feels safe and easy to use. A rich landscape design is possible between the circular bicycle shed, because trees and plants can simply stand in the open ground. That greening returns on the outside in the form of planters and climbing plants that form to the ridges of the facade concrete.

An exciting passageway

A special layer has been added on top of the southern roof, which, with its recessed facade and sleek canopy, refers to Ingwersen's pavilion on the other side of the roof. The auditorium is fitted into the volume with a clever cut-out in the corner. This also creates an exciting passageway, which leads either to a residential street or to a green square. The passage will additionally be marked by a facade artwork.


De Nijs Projectontwikkeling / SAREF
12,700 m² with 147 medium-priced rental dwellings, 550 m² commercial space, 900 m² bicycle parking in the basement
Adriaan Mout, Jurriaan van Stigt, Marianne Loof
Timea Sandor, Hilmar Goedhart, David Meijer, Olga Pedryc, Swati Hegde
2016 –
Bouwbedrijf De Nijs
Urban plan
Artist impressions
SURREND3R, LEVS architecten