WoZoCo Apartments (also known as Oklahoma)
Reimerswaalstraat 1

1069 Osdorp-Amsterdam
The Netherlands

 

MVRDV 1997

 

The suburban community of Osdorp is one that has been looking for innovative ways to deal with the significant increases in density necessary to support the growing population, while retaining as much of their open green space as possible. The WoZoCo apartments are a direct response by the architects, MVRDV, to balancing these demands.

 

 

 

The Het Oosten Housing Association had planned to place 100 residences for the elderly on the restricted site. Due to strict zoning regulations that have specific requirements to ensuring adequate access to sunlight and the desired gallery-type circulation, only 87 units could be adequately fit onto the site. The option of placing the remaining 13 units elsewhere on the site was ruled out in the interest keeping as much of the remaining open space on the site as possible. The solution MVRDV arrived at was to cantilever the units off the North facade giving the impression of them precariously hanging off the glass gallery space. The additional costs that come with hanging the units were dealt with by simplifying the rest of the building. Great consideration was given to arranging the units in a highly efficient manner and economical use of materials, leading to significant savings which compensated for the added expense of the suspended units. The finish work was also simplified, leaving many of the details and joints exposed, giving it a somewhat industrial appearance.

 

 

Despite some uniformity of units in the interest of economic efficiency, the South facade offers the residents a sense of individuality, character and diversity through the variety of colors, sizes and locations of the balconies and windows.

 

 

This was one of the first significant buildings constructed by MVRDV. It has received much critical acclaim and is largely responsible for bringing this young firm to the forefront of the Dutch and international architectural communities. It is a testament to the firm's ability to come up with creative and original solutions practical problems. They have since gone on to construct a number of innovative housing projects including Mirador and Silodam.

 

 

Jeff Jerome 2009 (updated 2011)

 


 

How to visit

 

WoZoCo is easily accessible by car, bicycle and public transit. It is located at the corner of Ookmeerweg and Reimerswaalstraat. By public transit it can be reached via bus 63, which stops approximately 300m south of the building, or Tram 17 which stops approximately 700m south and departs from Amsterdam Central Station.

 

WoZoCo is a private residence and is not open to the public. Visitors may not be welcome.

 

 

 

 


Books and other web sites

 

See the project desctiption and images at the MVRDV web site.

 

 

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