La Facette is a design that offers a well thought-out solution to a common question for many housing corporations; how do you meet the high demand for affordable city apartments, whilst retaining a superior quality of living? Housing corporation De Key organized a competition for 221 apartments on the Amsterdam Zuidas. The USPs of OZ ‘s submission :
The Amsterdam Zuidas will change from a monotonous office district to a thriving residential and work area, aligned with the vision of the Amsterdam municipality. De Key wanted to independently develop a programme for this location, containing 100% social housing in the form of starter apartments.
“It was important for the housing association that a substantial volume of housing of good quality is realized. It is often difficult to realize multiple living areas in micro homes,”says project manager Maarten Verhelst. “OZ came up with the following solution: creating as much façade area as possible per home. The home units together form an efficient tetris puzzle. With a wide external façade area connected to the living space, more room is created for a separate bedroom.” The characteristic zigzag façade also makes the house more spacious: it provides a wide view and a more open feeling inside.
In addition to functional quality, the design also has presence. “We opted for a compact balcony in a diamond shape for each home. In the guidelines set out by the municipality it refers to a vertical building block, each with its own identity, such as in the streets of New York. These balconies have allure and reinforce the verticality, with which we made that reference.” Additionally, the balconies gave rise to the name of the design: La Facette is one side of a diamond.