The Podium Area, near Amsterdam Lelylaan Station and close to Rembrandt Park, is part of the Ringzone West and one of the densification areas in Amsterdam, where many new homes and facilities are being built. The municipality has the ambition to transform this traditionally spacious business and amenities zone into an urban environment that makes the connection between the old and the new city. The project at the Cornelis Lelylaan is one of the last puzzle pieces in a lively Amsterdam neighborhood with many social challenges. Meeting and connection are central to the design, with ‘Het Cornelium’ as the cultural heart and connector.
The project consists of a residential building more than a hundred meters long with facilities on the ground floor and a 1960s-built school, designed by the architect Ingwersen, behind it. The school will be given a new purpose as an incubator with a neighborhood room and a workshop. OZ approaches the densification of this place in the city not only in the form of buildings – but the green public space is also being intensified with a climate forest between old and new construction. Part of the plinth of the old school will be removed to connect the original loose parts of the public space. The roof will have a common function as an urban garden. A monumental gate in the new residential building provides access to the old school and the surrounding park.
The building is technically and socially very sustainable. The CO2 footprint of the building is limited by using recycled materials and demountable parts as much as possible. By using sustainable district heating, natural cooling and high-efficiency solar panels, the current plan aims to generate 21% more energy annually than the new apartment building needs. In addition to the public park and a communal roof terrace, the building also has a wide living gallery orientated on the south. The gallery does not only provide access to the apartments, it is also a place where people meet.