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Kristina Kupstaite

Autumn 2015

Research Report

‘Porosity: Borders vs Boundaries’ Using the physical body of architecture to enliven the social realm of the residential urban block Based on Merkelbach, Amsterdam West

MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite


Kristina Kupstait Email: K.Kupstaite-1@student.tudelft.nl/ kkupstaite@hotmail.co.uk


‘... ambiguity and indirectness can play a liberating role in social relations; they can both provoke us and make us reflect.’ Richard Sennett ‘The Open City’ MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite


Table of Content

Pages

Bibliography References

85 86-88

Chapter 1. Introduction

1-4

Introduction into the site

1

Illustrations

89

Problem statement

2

Appendix 1

90

Research question

2

Appendix 2

91-92

Document structure

2

Appendix 3

93-94

Methodology Personal motivation Chapter 2. Cultural/ Historical Values Chapter 3. Porosity vs. Rigidity Part 1. Inspiration

2-3 4 5-12 13-80 13

Part 2. Modern Movement

14-16

Part 3. Learning from the City

17-23

Part 4. Landlust: neighbourhood of rigid boundaries

24-30

Part 5. Merkelbach , the journey around the block

31- 67

Part 6. Interior

68-80

Chapter 4. Conclusion

81-83


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION The MSc3 graduation project ‘Housing Heritage Amsterdam: New interpretation of the monuments of the Modern housing’ will be using the Ben Merkelbach Housing estate in Landlust (specifically the Merkelbach housing block), Amsterdam West for the following academic research and design proposal. The target of this process is to develop a firm understanding of the existing situation of the site, to identify existing problems and to consider the potential to give a new lease of life to the decaying housing stock through innovative design strategy for a sustainable future.

Additionally, in Amsterdam (as with much of the rest of the Netherlands) the availability of land proved (and continues to prove) a significant barrier to new construction projects. Due to its location below sea level, land must be reclaimed – a costly and complex process, as a result this land is very expensive and scarce; the Netherlands also having one of the highest population densities in the world.

INTRODUCTION TO THE SITE: The area that is currently identified as Landlust, was the centuries old dike village Sloterdijk. Until the 19th Century, it was the only small concentration of buildings in an otherwise rural area with a few country estates and farms.1 In 1904 the Electric Railway Company began drawing plans for a tramline connection between Amsterdam and Zandvoort, running through Admiraal de Ruiterweg – this marked the starting point of the expansion of the city into the west.2 Since the explosive urbanization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the city was almost continually forced to expand to meet a housing shortage. After emerging from a long period of economic stagnation in late 19th Century, the population of Amsterdam grew almost threefold, from 230, 000 (in 1850) to 683, 000 (in 1920). This explosion in population was the result of the development of colonial commerce and industrialization in the Low Countries, which was impossible in the previous century due to the marine wars with England and the blockade by Napoleon I.3 With demographic growth came continued densification of unregulated housing, and the appearance of makeshift housing within the courtyards of private dwellings, also attic and basement utilisation became common. This situation gradually became resolved with the intervention of the public authority body – the first major, quality, social housing projects started to take place in the early 1900s, they were still very much in the tradition of the closed block (Amsterdam School, Berlage School). The period of 1906-24 saw the implementation of this strategy, but in spite of the sustained construction of quality housing, a housing shortfall of some 15,000 properties remained.4

Img. 1. Landlust, Merkelbach MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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PROBLEM STATEMENT: The neighbourhood was constructed during the 1930s, minor interventions throughout its existence have taken place. Superficially the buildings appear in a good state of repair – the neighbourhood does not feel severely neglected, although the streets and pavements could benefit from minor repairs and there is a visible problem of littering and vandalism. Although the area appears to be maintained to an acceptable standard there is a palpable lack of energy – there is no connection between the outside and the inside. During one of the first extended visits to the area I was compelled to acknowledge a sense of emptiness. Walking through Landlust (at any given time) you rarely encounter a fellow pedestrian, even the enclosed garden spaces within the perimeter of the blocks seem to not have any life in them. ‘…people like being around each other; that there is nothing desirable or safe about empty places, whether they’re made of brick and mortar or covered in banal green grass.’5 – R. Suarez Considering Suarez’s argument the fault for a lack of interaction must lie with the design of the public spaces in Landlust as it would appear that the residents of Landlust are not able or willing to use their surroundings. Human interaction being minimal therefore means residents focus is placed solely on the interiors of their households, limiting their zone of control, which results in neglect to all other areas. RESEARCH QUESTION: ‘The interplay of human activity with the physical place has an enormous amount to do with the greatness of a street. It is difficult or impossible to separate the two and few try. Fewer still give description of the actual physical nature of the street upon which human activity – from the most ordinary to the most spectacular – unfold. First and foremost, a great street should help make a community: should facilitate people acting and interacting to achieve in concert what they might not achieve alone… streets are settings for activities that bring people together.’6 - A.B Jacobs

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From A.B. Jacobs quotation and the previous quote from Suarez (above) we may conclude that people need lively streets in order to shop, meet and be entertained, and further that these should not only be situated in the city centres but also in the neighbourhoods. In providing more ‘hybrid’ spaces (i.e. not solely dwelling or solely commercial or leisure) a greater sense of inhabitation is created, bringing people together and allowing them to take ownership of (or appropriate) their environments outside of their dwellings on the street. This begs the question; why does the neighbourhood in Landlust not have this quality and whether, through modification, people will be encouraged to expand their zone of control in order to lessen the feeling of emptiness which pervades the neighbourhood. According to R.Sennett urban environments should be breachable, or porous in order for the city to be alive. Instead of favouring closedness – which generates an erroneous sense of safety – adopt the notion of ‘blurring boundaries’; an area where private and public spheres meet and are not so rigidly defined. Therefore this paper will appropriate R. Sennett’s interpretation of the porous environment and will try to unfold the physical body of Merkelbach building. DOCUMENT STRUCTURE: In this research process I will be questioning the issue of the rigidity (opposed to the Porosity) of early 20th century urban planning and its shortfalls, which can compromise the quality of life of the inhabitants. Firstly, I shall briefly overview the history and present situation of the given site (Landlust). Secondly, I will be questioning its relevance/potential for now and future living. Thirdly, I shall address the above mentioned statement and question its legitimacy. Lastly, I shall base my research; which will be the main body of this document, on the assumption and the grounds of the issue addressed, ‘the porosity in the urban fabric’. The final stage of the document will be conducted through sketches/diagrams based on the existing site and the resultant assumptions/ideas are intended to lead to the design proposals. METHODOLOGY: All of the ideas that will be proposed are not taken as an arbitrary catalogue of the physical, visual attributes of the urban fabric, building or individual spaces, but will be based on ‘patterns’ citing the Christopher Alexander book


‘A Pattern Language: Towns · Buildings · Construction’. Therefore the principals of the investigations are dual: Empirical (discussed in the following paragraph) and Theoretical (written matter), based on the writings of Christopher Alexander, Richard Sennett, Jane Jacobs, Gordon Cullen, Allan B. Jacobs and others of a similar attitude to the subject. The selected references were chosen as they investigate different elements of the same concept – the over-determination of our built environment, and the need for change in order to allow future growth of cities whilst maintaining a healthy living environment for now and the future. Additionally they all, without exception, offer direct criticism of the Modern Movement’s approach to urban planning. The reading element of my research has led me to understand to a greater extent the ‘damage’ wrought during the 20th Century in the sphere of architecture and urban planning, and the resultant effect on our quality of life as the inhabitants of the city. The Empirical portion of research and investigation will utilise vignette observations and analysis; I intend to look at the project not solely through the eyes of an architect (or student of) but also as a user. All background reading has reinforced the importance of not simply reading the functionality of the spaces (for example through the lens of statistics or simple dimensions) but also the need to empathise with the end-user – in this case the residents. Based on the ‘Pattern’ book I will develop a toolkit that will be a driving theme of the research, and allow both the theoretical and empirical elements of my investigation to further intertwine. A danger exists that throughout this process there may be a tendency to depart from studies of architecture to studies of human perception, anthropology or psychology, therefore the later stages will be structured/influenced by – the notion that the work is based on the existing urban environment; placing an emphasis on the Merchelback building’s Municipal monument status and; the technology (which will largely be during the design process) including a strong emphasis on the environmental issues and possibilities. Therefore the Toolkit, Monumental Values and Technology solutions will lead to the design development (See table 1). Additionally I shall throughout this document use the Harvard referencing system, therefore all

Table 1 Toolkit

neighborhood

Cultural Values

Technology

Architecture

individual unit

block

annotation and image sources can be found at the end of the document. OR

Final outcome Proposal

MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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PERSONAL MOTIVATION: Having lived in the Merkelbach building and now living in a similarly constructed (albeit fully open row housing development, built during the 1960s in Amsterdam North) I feel there is a particular validity to my past experiences and the experience of those I share these spaces with. These experiences can help to mould intentions for future restoration and redevelopment work. A number of relevant anecdotal experiences and the observations drawn from them: - At the outset of the research element of this course my flatmate (who is not architecturally trained) made some observations in a conversation regarding our neighbourhood. We were discussing not knowing our neighbours and what it means to our sense of security and ability to call our household a home. It appeared that we had no opportunity to meet our neighbours except brief encounters on the communal stairwell. This lack of contact with the strangers that we share close physical proximity with (which you would not consider on a daily basis) led to the conclusion that a sense of apprehension is developed about them. - The public or semi-public spaces within the block are poorly thought out. The main entrance door is flush to the façade with no shelter offered, the stairway is narrow, and poorly lit (both in terms of artificial and natural light). The transition between arriving and entering a household (or vice versa) becomes a perfunctory action. Thus the communal spaces are not conducive of interaction – leading to quick transit through the space when shared with strangers. The dimensions of your allotted unit become the limit of your living space. - There is continued municipal maintenance of the external spaces around the block, also of the stairwells and landings, however this has little impact on the inhabitants’ behaviour as these spaces are seen as apart/distinct from their homes – they feel off limits, therefore problems with littering and vandalism exists. - Between blocks there is a large grassy area planted with large trees facing south. This would seem an ideal location on a sunny day; however, it is rarely used. It is unwelcoming; therefore you are confined to your 1.5x3m balcony. During a brief visit from my family, we decided to have a small barbeque – a trip to the nearest park was inconvenient, thus it was suggested to use the lawn by the house – this was met with great objection. The arguments were whether this was allowed, or what the neighbours’ reaction would be.

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I feel sure that I am not alone in holding an underlying negativity concerning the surroundings and feel that better design can assist with the sense of safety and appropriation of the locations in which we live. It is too easy to apportion blame to neighbours, as a lack of social interaction leads to a natural sense of territoriality. Certainly individual agendas such as NIBY (Not in my backyard), political ideologies, and socially disruptive/antisocial behaviour not only have an impact on the feel of a neighbourhood, they can also create barriers to the implementation of ‘multifunctionality’. The creation of elements of the built environment can be designed/intended to encourage social interaction and thus create a safer feeling and foster a greater sense of community. We can readily manipulate the built environment (free standing objects), so it seems an obvious place to start as – as has been earlier illustrated – poor design has the reverse effect. Thus I shall approach my research with the intention of ascertaining which attributes of our built environment (with particular reference to Merkelbach, Landlust) prevent the inhabitants from fully appropriating their spaces and embracing communal living.

Img. 1. Barbeque with the family outside Spelderholt


CHAPTER 2. CULTURAL / HISTORICAL VALUES

URBAN CONTEXT:

This chapter will analyse the cultural and historical values of The Merkelbach building; the social housing block constructed in the area during the early 20th Century, and will analyse the implementation of the AUP (General Expansion Plan of Amsterdam) which led to its construction.

The area itself lies roughly 4km west of the historic city centre (from Beurs van Berlage). The Merkelbach block lies between Juliana van Stolbergstraat and Louise de Colignystraat, Merkelbach is a part of the Amsterdam West district, in the neighbourhood of Landlust – although it should be noted that Landlust may refer to the specific area of development which includes the Merkelbach building (as part of the first stage of the AUP implementation), or the larger district of Landlust which spans from Haarlemmerweg to Jan van Galenstraat (North-South); it is the site of redevelopment and not the whole district that will be discussed in this paper.

The AUP was established in 1935 under the leadership of The Department of Public Works and the chief urban planner C. Eesteren. Its implementation was gradual; with the 1st phase during the pre-war (WW2) period, and the 2nd phase completed after the war. It was the later phase where the majority of the AUP was implemented.7 ‘…it was not the shape of the Amsterdam General Extension Plan, but the planning principles that were most innovative.’8 A characteristic feature of the new plan was spacious residential districts with a mixture of high, medium and low-rise buildings and the presence of open green space.9

Img. 1. AUP 1935

Landlust was the first part of the AUP Housing neighbourhood and became a turning point in the urban planning of Amsterdam; the neighbourhood represents a unity in planning and implementation. The initial development of Landlust (Haarlemmerweg to Jan van Galenstraat) was not an ideal outcome; the first part of the expansion – it lies on the southern part of the development plan – the residential area was set up in closed blocks (see images Appendix 1.). This was contrary to the ideals of the proposal, as closed blocks restrict the field of light and air entry. At the time that the AUP gathered momentum the traditional closed block was considered unhygienic, with a recurring concern that the private individuals living on the ground floor did not take care of their property. As a result the open block was preferable; the central garden became public property (for use by the residents of the block), and the dwellings were no longer different from those located on the upper stories, with maintenance carried out by the municipality.10 The application of other forms of subdivision, such as strips of construction, however, appeared to be impossible because it was too expensive in relation to the high cost of land. The Planning department did get the opportunity to reserve more space for parks (5.1% instead of 2 5%) and created wider street profiles (40% instead of 26%).11 This enabled a greater amount of sunlight to reach the households; therefore the layout was primarily based on solar orientation.

Img. 2. Landlust MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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LANDLUST BY MERKELBACH The Merkelbach building is a 1930s construction; completed later than intended due to the 1920s economic crisis and a slower than anticipated execution 12 , the court was forced to accommodate experimentation with new subdivision methodology. Ben Merkelbach was a lead figure in the urban development of Landlust, also a designer for the Merkelbach building (Juliana van Stolbergstraat and Louise de Colygnistraat) with Ch. J. F. Karsten. It must be noted that Ben Merkelbach belonged to the first generation of architects of the Modern Movement and was an outspoken opponent of the beloved Amsterdam School and a founding member of the Amsterdam architect group De 8 13, his influence and beliefs can be seen throughout the development of Landlust. Row housing represented a break with the centuries-old tradition in Amsterdam of the closed block. The complex is part of an innovative urban design using half open blocks. The design in Landlust is described as a turning point in the history of architecture in urban planning, labourers, and in the culture and history of cooperative housing.14 In Amsterdam it incorporates the ideals of Het Nieuwe Bouwen into the architecture and in the relationship between architecture and urban design. The Amsterdam architect association De 8 was tied to the ideals of a New Culture and Free Living to provide autonomous form buildings and residential areas with socio-inspired attempts to improve housing for workers at the lowest possible cost.15 Landlust became the experimental allotment, the “testing ground” for the future developments in Bos en Lommer. All 5 blocks (designed by B. Merkelbach, Ch. JF Karsten, G. Versteeg and son) on the site are virtually identical, with only a few minor differentiations in the block shape (all blocks are West-East orientated), size, and choices of some façade elements. Housing construction in Landlust, saw a total of over 700 new dwellings, for which a new development plan was designed. The houses were not truly revolutionary due to limited funding, but all that was possible was achieved; the pursuit of consistent construction took shape and even the smallest details in the homes are thought out, not due to decorative purposes, but with a functional sense. Additionally, because the design was semi-closed buildings,

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the design that was proposed and implemented had a greater proximity between 4 story wings which meant greater access to sunlight for each household.

Img. 1. Landlust, Merkelbach

Img. 2. Changes in block typology

Img. 3. Increase of proximity between buildings


MERKELBACH (JULIANA VAN STOLBERGSTRAAT AND LOUISE DE COLYGNISTRAAT) BUILT IN 1936-7: Merkelbach is a registered municipal monument because it possesses following attributes: - An architectural unity on the basis of typology, - Of a specific time period and/or possessing a special characteristic architectural design, - A position as a development unit and/or its contribution to a subdivision of that field. Possessing the status of governmental or municipal monument or earlier is eligible.16 Img. 1. Juliana van Stolbergstraat, 1936, under construction

through the years up till now. Therefore the unity of the site and its integrity has not been lost. All 5 blocks integrate the same features; on the long wings is sited a 4 story building with storage on the ground level, on the short wings a 1 story building for elderly residents, and on the other 2, 1 story retail units. All blocks integrate an overhanging eave roof (pitched roofs on the 1 story wings), half open plan, with one short side taken away (note the differentiation from the traditional Amsterdam closed block), and an internal green garden enclosed within the blocks. In consideration of my ongoing research (that questions the matter of boundaries and borders, the overall structure and scale of the blocks, the segregation of front and rear facades) the original plan for Landlust (B. Merkelbach, Ch. JF Karsten) underwent major changes by the municipality prior the approval of the project – including the considerable lengthening of the blocks.17 This meant no direct immediate connection between front and rear facades; with the only direct access to the internal garden placed on Willem de Zwijgerlaan, or via the basements – which does not offer the most practical entry to the communal gardens – thus the gardens are greatly underused. Perhaps this is now considered a normal part of the development, however, the rear facades and gardens were an essential part of the ideology of the Modern Movement – light, air and space. Therefore it is one of my targets within the project to solve this disconnection.

REFLECTIONS: As of the present situation the urban planning design of Landlust (Juliana van Stolbergstraat to Karel Doormstraat) has not changed. An overview shows that no significant augmentations or eliminations have taken place MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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MERKELBACK - THE BLOCK (JULIANA VAN STOLBERGSTRAAT AND LOUISE DE COLYGNISTRAAT): Half-closed semi-detached row housing block 2x4 story wings with 2 business premises, 4 senior residents’ homes of 1 story high, altogether incorporating 208 dwellings. The block was completed on 1st August 1937 and is considered the first of its kind in Amsterdam – with adjacent blocks following shortly afterwards.18 Later, the design was implemented not only in Landlust, but also during the post war developments in Bos en Lommer.19 It is considered the most significant complex out of all in the immediate surroundings. Attempt of Implementation of Het Nieuwe Bouwen or Modern movement (1920-1960) ideology: • • • • • •

New materials Improvement of housing and living conditions New construction organisations to meet the requirements of the economic and demographical expansion (discussed above) Efficiency and hygiene Efficient plan layout, adequate facilities, optimal insulation Plenty of air and light20

Img. 1. Merkelbach, 1937

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Img. 2. Layout

NEW ATTITUDE: A step towards modern architecture (consideration towards a better future), however the implemented construction type still remains traditional (conventional): Masonry walls (English bond) with steel construction on each floor – the reason for the choice of the traditional masonry construction is not known, however it could be speculated, that due to the tight budget of the project, the manual work of bricklaying was a readily available technique using a cheap labour force – as compared to the new techniques, such as precast and concrete structures. Timber floors Reed and plaster ceiling No central heating (although already available, but not widely used in the 1930s), coal (gas?) stoves. It could be assumed that the reason for the use of these traditional materials and methods, were the cost, availability and labour issues as with the wall construction. There are attempts to implement modern architectural material; large steel windows and external door frames, which were just starting to be used in the construction of housing estates. Also on the rear façade, the hanging balconies were implemented with a galvanised steel railing and mesh fence (see images Appendix 1). These were evidently attempts to use the lightweight/luminous/transparent materials, so much promoted by the Modern movement. They were part of the commitment to allow more light into the internal spaces, by not creating additional obstructions. This use of the mixed materials/ techniques, suggests the edifice as being a form of transition between traditional ways of building to the modernist choice of construction.

Img. 3. Masonry (English bond)

Img. 4. Timber floors, read and plaster ceiling


Transformation of fenestration tween 1937 an 2015

REFLECTIONS: In the 1990s small changes were made to the materiality of the façades. Steel window and door frames were changed into white aluminium and plastic frames, with the mesh fence on the rear façades replaced by wall fencing with slats.21 Therefore the attributes of the façade that signified the turn in ideology have been partially lost, the white window frames clash harshly with Transformation of fenestration between 1937 an 2015 Img.1. Open fenestration, the now already weathered masonry walls, additionally they are no longer Merkelbach 1937 well maintained and therefore on first glance appear untidy and out of place. Visual comparisons of the façades pre and post intervention show that the new materials have not improved the building – even though the frames that were reinstalled supposedly had the same (or similar) profile (see image 1,2) – the intervention was not aesthetically successful as it damaged the previously sleek appearance the building possessed. It appears from historic images that the large windows were used heavily, however currently they appear to rarely Treatment of the balcony railings be in use – I have lived in the same building for a short time and additionalImg.2. Original fenestration 1937 and 1943 ly observed this while visiting the site. This represents intervention, with no replaced between 1990s-present consideration to the initial design ideologies of light, air and space. Interventions should be sympathetic to the original intentions (not necessarily in physical appearance); by bringing up to modern day standards and expectations; not replacing based primarily on financial considerations, instead focussing on modern solutions that can produce the same results; maintaining a sense of space and light – this places better emphasis on maintaining standards to restore civic pride. Additionally, as described in the documents provided by YMERE, there is some damage accrued on the brickwork, due to the rusting of Treatment of the balcony railings Treatment of the balcony railings the steel construction within the masonry. YMERE suggest that the steelwork Img.3. 1937 and 1943 Balconies in their 2015 and the brickwork must be replaced in the damaged zones.22 It appears that original state the original load-bearing parts of the edifice may be structurally unsound and unrecoverable, meaning replacement is inevitable. The question is posed if the value of the tangible body of the edifice is negated after the procedures to carry out a patchwork replacement of the façade.

Img.4. Replaced between 1990s and present state MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Merkelbach, stairway with interlacing cross staircases and grocery lift INTERIOR:

In this section of the analysis will be discussed the layout of the interior, its value, and the importance of maintaining or not. STAIRWAY AND STAIRCASES: Stairways and landings appear one of the most interesting aspects of the complex. It has interlacing cross staircases; meaning that instead of the typical one stair in the communal stairwell there are 2 overlapping staircases, one leading to 2nd story, the second servicing the 1st and 3rd stories. It was a special request of the Board of the housing Society, so that no more than four families would use one staircase.23 The motivation for this was not documented, however it may be assumed the intention was to avoid ‘overcrowding’ of each staircase. This feature was not implemented in further constructions in Landlust and Bos en Lommer, the reason behind this has alsostairway not been docuMerkelbach, with interlacing mented, but it may be assumed that it proved to be impractical, inefficient or cross staircases and grocery lift unnecessary. Presently the stairway is fully intact (albeit with some damage to the glass panes on the railing), furthermore, within the staircase design was Img. 1. Original drawings of the staircase, Merkelbach integrated a small ‘grocery lift’ – with a pulley mechanism; some of which are still present. REFLECTIONS: The staircase is an exceptional element of the design, in part due to its uniqueness in Landlust ; however it may be argued that the success of its functionality (hence non-implementation of the same stair type in the later designs of the dwellings in the area) raises the question of the need to preserve it. Further practical consideration would suggest that the good state of repair at present and their unique quality makes a strong case for preservation and incorporation into any proposed modification of the housing. But from preliminary research and my intentions within any future proposal to improve the social aspect of the housing, these stairs sit contrary to the principles, as they would appear to further separate neighbours from each other.

Img. 2. Staircase, Merkelbach

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INDIVIDUAL DWELLINGS:

which was originally intended for a family of three), as the storage space is minimal in the dwellings the outerwear (coats and shoes) were located in the hallway, which meant that there was virtually no room even for simple transitional movement. It could be argued that the space was not intended for storage of coats and shoes, but despite that the hallway still remains a narrow, rather functional space, additionally, storing outdoor clothes in the also small proportioned bedrooms causes odour problems. Interestingly, while on the site visit to the Merkelbach block, the YMERE representative expressed great enthusiasm for maintaining the hallway in its current form and dimensions, as it is considered a key to the layout of the dwellings. However I feel the small dimensions makes the space non-functional. Furthermore, the showers are allocated in the middle of the household with a granite base, located directly in front of the bedrooms, which appears logical at first, but due to their dimensions (1.3m2) and proximity to the lavatory they are no longer comfortable. According to YMERE documents they are causing deflection in the floors.

As discussed before, the housing was designed on a small budget, with the intention to provide quality dwellings for the working class; this intention was reflected in the size of the dwellings. Unit sizes vary from 38.9m2 for a single bedroom dwelling to 62.9m2 for a four bedroom apartment (see images of the plans on the following page). Each apartment is of a similar layout, with the core being a hallway and other rooms concentrated around it (see drawing of 4 main types of the apartments). In the written documents great attention is drawn to the layout of the kitchen, which was a small scale version of socalled Holland rational kitchen, which was originally developed by architect J. W. Janzen for middle class dwellings.24 The kitchens in Merkelbach were considered to be functional and can be operated from one spot, this was a reflection of the ideas of the time – rationality/functionality. The kitchens are of uniform size in each apartment – irrespective of the size of the apartment; 5.8m2 with minimal work surface space. It was felt the size was sufficient, however modern requirements (accepting that modern kitchens are typically equipped Frankfurt kitchen designed 1926 for with a wide array of appliances which were unavailable to most households social housing in order enable efficient Other work and low build costs in the 1930s) mean the dimensions and layout are no longer suitable. functions to be sited within the kitchen were identified and implemented in the original designs; such as drying racks and a broom cupboard (or pantry).

Merkelback, kitchen ,rationele Holland keuken, 1938

REFLECTIONS: The original fittings of the kitchen were replaced in a previous refurbishment; however the actual size of the kitchen has not changed. At present it is an exceptionally compact kitchen and may indeed be the most restricted part of the dwellings, it is not fit for contemporary use. The minimal space of the kitchen and working surfaces dictates that only one individual at the time may be present. Cooking has become a more collective experience, rather than solely a housewife duty. The kitchen may be the most restricting space in the apartments; however the rest of the apartment configuration allows minimal freedom. The hallway – which at its smallest is 2.9m2, does not allow any other activity to be undertaken, other than transitioning from rooms that are adjacent to it. While I was living in the Merkelbach, myself and other 2 people shared the dwelling (a 2 bedroom apartment with a total floor space of 43. 5m2

Img. 1. Kitchen, Merkelback 1930s MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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CONCLUSION Overview of the documented assessment of the cultural and historical values of the Merkelbach: In hierarchical order: - Overall body of the Landlust as designed by B. Merkelbach is present in all its elements, with its coherency and unity. - Turning point in the typology of residential block. - Important transition between traditional construction and applica- tion of new materials and techniques. - Implementation of the ideology – Light, space and air - Quality of dwellings for working class The detailing and the physical body of the Merkelbach block, has been compromised in the process of delivery and construction, also throughout the later interventions. Img.1. 4 Major types of the dwellings: Type A & C

Img.1. 4 Major the types of the dwellings: Type N & P

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Reflections: From reading the written documents and meeting the representatives of YMERE, the housing cooperation which maintains the block, it seems to me that the supposed cultural and historical importance of the site overshadows the fact that the dwellings and its amenities do not meet the requirements and expectations of the contemporary dweller. Therefore, it has to be considered, whether a purely restorative approach is the most suitable intervention in this case. Throughout my personal approach I shall place a greater emphasis on restating the intangible cultural/historical values of the development at its inception; such as the ideology – providing the best quality dwelling possible, quality of light/air/space, rather than the physical design. Inevitably I am intending to maintain, or partially maintain the semi-open row housing typology of the block as much as possible. However, as will be seen in the following chapters of this document, I believe that the present design is not conducive to strong societal or community bonds. I intend to maintain the core fabric of the block; it exists as a Municipal Monument, and significant/drastic redevelopment work would not show consideration to the coherency of the wider area nor to the existing residents. Further interventions must be sensitive and respect the existing fabric to the area.


CHAPTER 3. POROSITY VS. RIGIDITY PART 1. INSPIRATION From reading documents on B. Merkelbach and the inception of the Landlust it was observed that the approach to designing the area was very much focussed on the needs of the residents. A closer look at the design solution of the Merkelbach block, between Juliana van Stolbergstraat and Louise de Colignystraat, reveals that to some extent the solutions that were carried out through the stated intentions of providing the best possible living conditions for the working class (the inhabitant) for that time, some of them have been discussed in Chapter 2. The question arises, whether the dwelling, the building and the area remain suitable for today’s living. At this stage, I shall not focus on the issue of the environmental sustainability requirements; I believe that this is an inherent part of any (re)development of the built environment, so therefore this issue will be addressed during the design process. The focus of this paper is the

‘Porosity: Borders and boundaries’. A number of authors within the sphere of architecture and urbanism have addressed this issue. What is of particular relevance here is those who have challenged the modernist approach to the built environment:

‘..he (Le Corbusier) has in the ‘Plan Voisin’ tried to destroy just those social elements of the city which produce change in time, by eliminating unregulated life on the ground plane; people live and work, in isolation, higher up. This dystopia became reality in various ways.’ ‘The result of over-determination is what could be called the Brittle City. Modern urban environments decay much more quickly than urban fabric inherited from the past. As uses change, buildings are now destroyed rather than adapted; indeed, the over-specification of form and function makes the modern urban environment peculiarly susceptible to decay.’ Richard Sennett ‘The Open City’ ‘Integral urbanism aims to create adjacencies of uses and people and to allow relationship among them to develop and flourish. Rather than distil, separate, and control - the ethos of modernism - this approach works towards integration, inclusion and dynamism.’ Nan Ellis ‘Integrating observation with action’ ‘Let us begin with the problem of variety. The idea of men as millions of faceless nameless cogs pervades 20th century literature. The nature of modern housing reflects this image and sustains it. The vast majority of housing built today has the touch of mass-production.’ ‘The homogeneous and undifferentiated character of modern cities kills all variety of life styles and arrests the growth of individual character.’ Christopher Alexander ‘A Pattern Language’

Img. 1. The people MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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PART 2. MODERN MOVEMENT As can be seen from the quotes above it does not matter how it is addressed, be it porosity, integral urbanity (N. Ellis), open system (R. Sennett), heterogeneity (C. Alexander) or diversity (J. Jacobs) – it comes down to one preliminary conclusion; that the cities, the neighbourhoods, the households, have to be open – as according to R. Sennett: ‘…about what “open” means. The membrane does not function like an open door; a cell membrane is both porous and resistant at the same time, holding in some valuable elements of the city, letting other valuable elements flow through the membrane. Think of the distinction between wall and membrane as a difference in degree: at the cellular level, conservation and resistance are part of the equation which produces openness.’25-R. Sennett He refers to the built environment that accommodates and encourages spontaneous human activity; this means the enhancement of possibilities of coexistence in contemporary cities. This part of the paper will address the origins of this profound multiple criticism of the Modernism approach to city planning. By challenging the modernist approach to Architecture and Urban planning I am intending to understand the successes and failures of the Landlust and especially Merlebach building planning and design, to discover the ideology behind it and interpret it through the lens of the ‘porosity’. B. Merkelbach belonged to the first generation of modernist designers/planners, and (as will be illustrated in the following parts of this research) Landlust displays typical features of the Modernism approach. Modernism, Modern Movement, CIAM, and the Le Corbusier generation will, in this paper (rightly or wrongly), be used as a synonyms for the generation of early 20th Century thinkers, planners and architects who had a profound influence and effect on the urban environments of modern and contemporary cities. The modern movement began as an antidote to the deteriorating physical environment and demographic growth explosion of western cities in the late 19th Century.26 The Modernism movement’s approach to city development was rational and scientific; the credo was – ‘sun, space and greenery’; from the ideological perspective this was rational – providing inhabitants

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Img. 1. Le Corbusier’s ‘Plan Voisin’ for Paris

Img. 2. Analysis of Lubetkin’s proposal for Peterlee town centre


of cities with heathy environments. The problem was a total lack of civic space, locations for interaction – the spaces of spontaneous activities. The CIAM urban planning approach had four major classifications – dwelling, work, leisure, and circulation; there was one factor was missing – the civic space – leading to the de-population of cities at street level. The proposals of Le Corbusier and his peers of a big scale ignored the locality, intimacy and individuality – examples could include; ‘Plan Voisin’, ‘The Radial City’- Le Corbusier, Peterlee town centre- Lubetkin, or the actually realized project of Brasilia and many others besides. Buildings were set as autonomous objects within the settings with no sensitive adaptation to the local conditions, or, as James Dunnett calls it – ‘towers in park-like settings’27 Even though most of the radical proposals like ‘Plan Voisin’ stayed on the paper, the ideology seeped into reality; for example, Brasilia – a city where scales are enormous and the anonymity of the inhabitants is a predominant feature. The ideals of the modernist movement went to further extremes, as this quote reveals from the interview with M. Fry, ‘houses-with-gardens had no place then in our view of the future.’28 Of course, comparing Brasilia and Landlust seems a far-fetched idea, they don’t match in scale or severity however they both carry the same ideologies taken directly from the modern movement. Modernism set the order of human rationality against their own ‘capricious nature’ – the notion of generating symbolism of the here and there, me and them – in the words of R. Sennett – creating borders/walls, between people and people, people and nature. This resulted in the abandonment of streets and alienation within communities. The streets, the plinths of the building, the green areas that were greatly espoused by modernist thinkers/designers were either designed to be decorative (and therefore off limits) or were simply too vast to be used as a space for gatherings and thus discouraging spontaneous activities and interaction. In the case of Landlust development they were even locked off so that they were only a view for the residents.

https://agingmodernism.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/city-center.jpg

Img. 1. City centre of Brasilia, abandoned and decaying

http://www.sheffield.towntalk.co.uk/

Img. 2. Sheffield on the verge of becoming a ghost town MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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These modernist symbols restrict interaction, which in turn (by my own anecdotal experience) result in the inhabitants of residential blocks developing anxiety of their neighbours. Residential areas have developed a somewhat abandoned feel. Cities are largely resilient to this type of planning (Milton Keynes or Sheffield, United Kingdom, are examples of when planning goes too far and kills even this), as retail units, attractions, the myriad of cafes and restaurants always attract greater activity, but residential areas have become seas of parked cars and empty pavements.

The pictures to the right graphically compares these two extremes of human activity. Haarlemmerdijk (above), located within the historic heart of the city of Amsterdam; this street is a bustling area – the epitome of a great active place for human interaction. Compare this to Juliana van Stolbergstraat (below), and the contrast is marked. I have in the course of my research spent a significant amount of time at this location – the streets are always deserted. Of course, it would be facile to suggest that every street corner or cul-de-sac should be a place of high activity like Haarlemmerdijk; however I believe that streets should not be simply lived in; a better utilisation of the space would enable all space to be used and appreciated. It is the target of my investigation to find a way to make Landlust a place not only of individual dwellings behind closed doors and windows but also on the street level; the pavement, the garden, any areas which may be identified as, or converted to a ‘hybrid zone’ – where private life meets the public sphere.29

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https://www.coffeecompany.nl/locations/haarlemmerdijk-62/

Img. 2. Haarlemmerdijk vs. Juliana van Stolbergstraat


PART 3. LEARNING FROM THE CITY As has already been established, the research will be conducted both theoretically and empirically. The empirical research will be conducted around Landlust area, and specifically the Merkelbach block. However, prior to my close investigation of the area I have decided to take a journey, from Amsterdam Centraal train station to Merkelbach, Juliana van Stolbergstraat. An analysis solely of Landlust area would have given a pattern of some of the more and less successful planning of ‘hybrid zones’, however, I felt it was important to understand the area in the context of Amsterdam as a whole and also to understand it through the eyes of a resident. The intention behind this preliminary journey was to understand the urban typologies of the environment and how the users of the city plinths appropriated not only parts of the given site but also plinths in the context of the city of Amsterdam. Additionally, I hoped to identify more successfully appropriated areas along the journey and use these lessons to improve the plinth of the given site. This notion of a plinth was borrowed from the book ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, in which the target of analysis is understanding what does and doesn’t work on the eye level of the streets; what happens on ‘the ground floors that negotiate between the inside and the outside, between the public and the private’ 30, or what the authors call ‘the hybrid zone’. The first image (following page) is a map indicating stops where Vignettes and observations were taken. The image below shows a collage of urban mapping which can be seen one by one on the right hand side; categories were chosen relating to the landscape of street changes: 1. The activity levels 2. Physical body of the built environment 3. Its appearance (meaning how overwhelming or not the physical body of architecture feels in its context) 4. The infrastructure (intersecting roads/streets) 5. Social active zones – how active the plinth of the street is 6. Visual connections along the journey 7. The thresholds (either physical or visual).

Img. 1. Scheme : Hybrid Zones

Hybrid Zone

At the bottom left the actual Vignettes of the journey with a brief description. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Img. 1. Map of the journey, analysis and vignettes IV

V

VI

Img. 2. Analysis by category III II

VII

Moments of Vignettes/ Nods

IIX

Amsterdam Centraal

I

Juliana van Stolbergstraat

Activity level

Physical body

VII

Presence Occupacy

25m

1-3 stories

Environment

5 stories

Adolf van Nassaustraat

X ~10

(at a given time)

I

X~2 X~5 Facilities/ Property

Residential, factory, factory shop

Occupacy

VI

(at a given time)

13.5m

~4 stories

Haarlemmerdijk Environment

Street/ Road intersections

X ~ 50 X ~ 50 X ~ 10

Facilities/ Property

12.2m

Occupacy

~4 stories

Environment

1-8 stories

Den Brielstraat

butchers,teashops, cheese shops, cafes, restaurants, residential, hairdressers, boutiques, supermarkets, bike shops, hotels, laundrette, coffeeshops

II

X ~0

(at a given time)

X~1 X~2 Facilities/ Property

Storages, religious institution, car rental, offices

Social V

Environment

12.9m

Occupacy

~4 stories

Haarlemmerplein

X ~ 50

(at a given time)

X ~ 20 X~0 Facilities/ Property

bank, bakery, tanning salon, supermarket, cafe, recreational square, residential, delicatessen, private shops, bar

Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

4 stories

Juliana van Stolbergstraat 25m

III

X ~2 X~3 X~1 Haarlemmerweg Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

IV

27m

Visual Connections

X ~5 X ~ 15 X ~ 10

Facilities/ Property

residential, offices, kindergarten, furniture shop

Haarlemmerweg Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

Haarlemmerweg 55m

X ~15

Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

X ~ 10

residential, startups, creative community, bars, clubs, eateries

13.5m

X~5 X ~ 10

X ~ 20 Facilities/ Property

~4 stories

VIII

~4 stories

Residential, bar

~5 stories

Facilities/ Property

X ~ 20 Facilities/ Property

Residiantial, park

Thresholds

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I

Occupacy

(at a given time)

13.5m

~4 stories

Haarlemmerdijk Environment

X ~ 50 X ~ 50 X ~ 10

Facilities/ Property

II

butchers,teashops, cheese shops, cafes, restaurants, residential, hairdressers, boutiques, supermarkets, bike shops, hotels, laundrette, coffeeshops

Stage 1 (Vignettes I and II) of the journey: Haarlemmerstraat: The beginning of the street at the intersection with Korte Prinsengracht and at the end where it opens up into a large public square – Haarlemmerplein. Haarlemmerstraat is a part of an early 17th Century canal district of Amsterdam- Jordaan. In later centuries the district became a slum due to refugee immigration; in the 1970s the council was seriously considering demolishing part of it. Luckily, city protectors, such as Monumentenzorg have managed to save historic buildings.31 At present the street consists of buildings standing approximately the same height as those constructed during the 1900s renewal (4 stories), with small scale retail units on the ground and residential space on the upper floors. - A variety of plinths (from banks, to independent craft shops and cafes); - A distinct variety of architecture with vertically orientated transparent facades; - Well-functioning ‘hybrid zones’ – the borders between private and public are blurred – the borders are permeable. All these aspects add to the pleasant feeling of the street. ‘Public space is not so much about the car versus other users, but the overall accessibility of the street: for delivering goods, for residents, and for those few visitors who want to come by car.’32 The street remains constantly active and populated by the residents, traders, tourists, shoppers and passers-by. From this section of the journey following lessons can be learned:

Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

12.9m

~4 stories

Haarlemmerplein

X ~ 50

-

richness in sensory experience, diversity of functions and vertical façade rhythms, balance between pedestrians and cars, life in and in between buildings. These are the key patterns for a positive city street.

X ~ 20 X~0 Facilities/ Property

bank, bakery, tanning salon, supermarket, cafe, recreational square, residential, delicatessen, private shops, bar

‘That the sight of people attracts still other people is something that city planners and city architectural designers seem to find incomprehensible. They operate on the premise that city people seek the sight of emptiness, obvious order and quiet. Nothing could be less true. People’s love of watching activity and other people is constantly evident in cities everywhere.’33 - J.Jacobs MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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III

V

Occupacy

(at a given time)

Occupacy

(at a given time)

~4 stories

27m

X ~5 X ~ 15

Haarlemmerweg Environment

~5 stories

Haarlemmerweg Environment

X ~ 10

13.5m Facilities/ Property

residential, oďŹƒces, kindergarten, furniture shop

X~5 X ~ 10 X ~ 20

Facilities/ Property

IV

Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

~4 stories

Haarlemmerweg 55m

X ~15 X ~ 10 X ~ 20

Facilities/ Property

20

residential, startups, creative community, bars, clubs, eateries

Residiantial, park

STAGE 2 of the journey comprises Vignettes III, IV and V: Haarlemmerweg, the road is a motorway that connects Central Amsterdam to Haarlem (historic city in North Holland 20km away), therefore the city scape widens and becomes dominated by traffic, to the right is Westerpark; a popular park during the summer months, on the left hand side mainly residential closed blocks, with few warehouses and offices in between. The facades of the buildings are introverted, this is due to the high level of traffic of the motorway, there is a lack of businesses to enliven the street, however on the park side there is a historic Westerparkfabriek, which has been converted into a creative zone; with a selection of restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. As it is a large scale establishment it attracts a great number of visitors throughout the day and night, and along with the park (which hosts regular outdoor events), it helps to perpetuate the dynamic quality of the strip and it is busy throughout all hours in spite of the lack of active plinths and traffic dominance (especially when compared to Haarlemmerweg). From this section of the journey following lesson can be learned: Even though the road does not provide a great activity nor has an existing plinth, a large unit of attraction (non-commercial) enlivens the road and adds activity, street feels secure.


VIII

VI

Occupacy

(at a given time)

12.2m

~4 stories

Environment

1-8 stories

Den Brielstraat

X ~0 X~1

Storages, religious institution, car rental, offices

Juliana van Stolbergstraat Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

4 stories

X~2 Facilities/ Property

25m

X ~2 X~3 X~1

Facilities/ Property

Occupacy

(at a given time)

25m

1-3 stories

Environment

5 stories

Adolf van Nassaustraat

Residential, bar

X ~10 X~2 X~5

Facilities/ Property

Residential, factory, factory shop

VII

STAGE 3 of the journey comprises Vignettes VI, VII and VIII, in this part of the journey the urban scale tightens. Entering Landlust neighbourhood, all the streets are closed off on the both sides by the buildings; the average distance varies between 12-25meters. Building functions; residential, factory, car rental – as a result the level of activity is greatly reduced, although there is some traffic from the Kesbeke factory (seen on the left hand side in the Vignette VII). All the ground floor plinths have a blind wall, the experience on the street level is hardly positive. ‘Many buildings of the past have been designed from a different design perspective and their plinths are simply not suitable for attractive public functions. Also the development of ‘drawing functions inside’ directs the attention more to the inside world rather than the urban environment.’35 MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Unlike the previously discussed Haarlemmerdijk, this area does not feel lively or even particularly lived in, as very little trace of activity may be detected, the public sphere ends at the edge of any given edifice. C. Alexander in his book ‘A Pattern Language’ addressed this issue in his pattern BUILDING EDGE – the buildings that were designed only with functionality in mind are particularly introverted, the edge becomes a ‘no mans-land’, no spontaneous activity can occur on the street level, even residential units are raised from the ground level by the storage units. Residents don’t appropriate the building edge – it is inhospitable.

‘Empty streets turned out to be scarier and more dangerous than streets crowded with mix of neighbours and strangers. … Paradoxically, scrubbing the environment of outsiders heightened stranger anxiety rather than alleviating it.’37 -R. Suarez

From this section of the journey following lessons can be learned: - Large building blocks - Monofunctional edifices - Blank facades - No ‘hybrid zones’ - No opportunities to sit and rest Resulting in dead streets, does not feel secure during the night, as passers not seen at frequent intervals. ‘…most of the high density urban areas in Amsterdam are residential. These attractive areas are to be found in the European city areas from before the 20th century. In the modernist architecture and urbanism this city of streets has been lost: the street was seen as vacant space between the buildings.’ 35 Sander van der Ham in ‘Hybrid Zones’ argues that residential areas of the city also need ‘hybrid zones’ for three main reasons: firstly, the research showed that 80% of informal interaction between neighbours occurs in these hybrid zones, therefore it is crucial that these spaces are provided, as they can be a solution to the problem of isolation. Secondly, residents of these spaces appropriate them well, in comparison to those who have no well-defined hybrid zones so take less pride in their surroundings – this leads to littering and vandalizing. Lastly, the results of the research showed, that the residential units that have appropriated their hybrid zones are less likely to be burgled.36

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CONCLUSION: In comparing vignettes 1 (Haarlemerdijk) and 8 (Juliana van Stolbergstraat) certain superficial similarities become apparent; the spaces between opposing buildings, building footprints, building height, uniformity of style etc. However here the similarities cease, they possess contradictory patterns, positive vs alienating. Juliana van Stolbergstraat appears a ‘beautiful’ street, possessing many aesthetic features, proportion of green spaces, regularly distributed trees, minimal cars, sunny spots, unity of style. This beautiful image is sought only for superficial values though; no consideration has been given to the real needs and desires of the inhabitants, resulting in abandoned streets, a criticism valid for this street and Modernist urban planning.. ‘We are painfully tearing ourselves away from the last century’s deep-rooted ‘modernity’. When it was new, its freeing and its creativity delighted us, than due to its wear and tear and its violent nature it admitted its shameful fascination for eradication, artificialisation, negativism of culture of feeling; a tabula rasa?’38 - L. Kroll


The picture can be deceptive: ‘The architect, my friends, sterilises as much: simply it is sometimes more pretty or rather peculiar. The inhabitants are still tremendously absent. At best, the landscape is organised ‘as if’ they had decided themselves: and here we have the new urbanism.’ 39- L. Kroll As discovered during this chapter: Blurring the boundaries between the private and public, greater appropriation of the plinth can be the key to lively cities and neighbourhoods; subsequently leading to happy, secure and empowered inhabitants of cities. Opening up interiors of the homes to the streets does not lead to exposing the private life, but instead connects it to the surroundings. As a result it leads to greater appropriation of the space, which leads to cleaner, safer and socially empowered neighbourhoods. Additionally, mixing residential areas with small businesses brings a positive impact; it allows a greater mix of strangers and residents, preventing segregation and isolation. Or as L. Kroll call it -homeopathic architecture (synonymous to R. Sennett –‘Open City’) ‘Homeopathic architecture sets the minimum amount of directives (of potent medicine) in order to let the body find its own energies to sort out its own health …Because the more the architecture dictates, the more the users doze’40- L.Kroll

The following part will analyse Landlust and particularly Merkelbach block based on these principles. Their shortcomings will be discussed and their possibilities for development, in order that solutions for how to enhance the block for future living may be found. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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PART 4. LANDLUST: NEIGHBOURHOOD OF RIGID BOUNDARIES In the previous chapter it has been recognised, through analysis of the wider context (using the journey from Amsterdam Centraal to Juliana Van Stolbergstraat, and a variety of written sources) that those zones in the city which possess a lively plinth, that have spaces/facilities that encourage greater interaction and spontaneous activities between inhabitants and the built environment, are safer, cleaner and have higher satisfaction levels. This notion sits opposed to the modernist approach of city planning – of tidiness, coherence and control (as discussed in the ‘Modern Movement’). The notion of blurring boundaries – analysing the hybrid space at the edge of the building – will be the carrying theme for the analysis of Landlust. However it must not be forgotten that this research is based on an existing urban environment, in which setting the block of Merkelbach is recognised as a Municipal Monument of the Modern Movement in the city of Amsterdam. Thus the approach to analysis and any proposed rejuvenation of the block has to be sensitive in respect to the Cultural and Historical values of the building (as discussed in chapter ‘Cultural/Historic Values’). In the previous chapter, the exploration of the city edge was concluded at the threshold to Landlust at the intersection of Willem de Zweijgerlaan and Juliana van Stolbergstraat, the journey will continue from this geographical point, in which the edge of the Merkelbach building will be explored with the help of the pattern notion borrowed from C. Alexander book ‘A Pattern Language’. This exploration will also later be conducted with the help of Vignettes, similarly to the previous chapter, but in more detail. The focus will be placed on the building fabric, features, and look at specific facility provision rather than the previous analysis which focussed on the broader urban context. Prior to the exploration of the edge of the Merkelbach block, an overall analysis of Landlust neighbourhood will be carried out. At the beginning of the research, it was considered to conduct an analogous ‘journey’ around Landlust, yet after concluding the previous chapter it was felt that description of the neighbourhood would be extraneous and certainly not fundamental – the subject of investigation has been drawn; the porosity of the border between public and private and its importance to a successful city street or neighbourhood. Thus this section of the paper will briefly analyse the general conditions of the site.

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urban fabric that effects site physically or visually Site as a physical unit Residential unit(y) Physical body- Merkelbach Non residential units- retail and services

Img. 1. Landlust within its broader urban context

Non residential units- non-public

Image 1 (above) shows Landlust in its immediate context, the zone of investigation demarcated with the line and named – ‘Site as a physical unit’ – it is bordered by four roads – Bos en Lommerweg, Williem de Zwijgerlaan, Karel Doormanstraat and Bestevaerstraat. From the image above can be also seen the obvious segregation of the residential and non-residential functions within the area. The non-residential activities are sequestered to the perimeter of the neighbourhood (marked in red and dark grey). As a result the perimeter of the neighbourhood is lively, especially Bos en Lommerweg at the North-West side – most retail and food service units are located here. ‘Diverse use is what enlivens a street. If there are many different functions, people will come to the place for many different purposes’41 – A.B. Jacobs. As established earlier; the diversity of the functions brings liveliness to the area, however in the case of Landlust, the core of the neighbourhood has been left out – it is mono-functional-residential. It is worthy of debate whether the internal spaces of the neighbourhood should be diversified, to preserve the peace. However, some aspects or elements of the public spaces have to be investigated – they act as catalysts of activity – hybrid zones, as discussed previously.


OVERVIEW OF LANDLUST

Landlust area 19633 m2 (28.5%) Built up 7267 m2 TraďŹ c street 2763 m2 Car parking 17516 m2 Paved areas Recreational sp. 1004 m2 16707 m2 Green 3477 m2 Green used

Total area of Landlust comprises 68780 m2 including perimeter streets, of which the built up ground totals approximately 19633 m2 – meaning only 28.5 % of the neighbourhood is built up, accordingly meaning that the remaining 71.5% could be annotated as different grades of public space. However, from the pictures below it can be seen the difference in activity between the perimeter street (Bos en Lommerweg) and the internal streets.

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Note: both images were taken on Saturday at approximately 2pm.

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Note: Images were taken on Saturday at approximately 2pm.

68780 m2

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Img. 3. Landlust

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Img. 1. Bos en Lommerweg, active city plinth Wi

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Img. 1. Internal areas of Landlust

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MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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PAVEMENT As observed from the previous images, the contrast in activity between the perimeter and the internal spaces of the neighbourhood is stark. While the perimeter street of Bos en Lommerweg is booming with passers-by, locals and shoppers, the internal roads are incredibly empty. It may be concluded that even though there is a great provision of external spaces between blocks they don’t, due to their intrinsic qualities, promote residents to appropriate them. The diagrams to the left (Image 1) show paved zones provided for pedestrian use(type and quality, see appendix 1); this accounts for 17516 m2 or 35% of the overall unbuilt area of the neighbourhood. Additionally (Image. 2) emphasizes the areas within the neighbourhood specifically designed for children’s recreational activities – an area just 1004m2 or 5.5% of the total paved area. The rest of the available area does not promote social activity; there is no provision of street furniture – something that can act as a catalyst to the appropriation of the pavement as a ‘hybrid zone’. Additionally as all buildings are raised from the ground level, residents don’t appropriate them even though the average pavement breadth is around 3.2m – this comes very close to the 3.5m pavement width suggested by Ton Schaap as conducive to resident appropriation; achieved by placing benches, planters and pavement gardens. These, according to T.Schaap become hybrid zones and soften the transition between public and private spaces 42 ‘[initiating] more frequent contact between residents’. 43 In Landlust the pavements are used only as a transitional space between city/car/bike and the entrance door, and are therefore mostly ‘dead’ spaces around the buildings.

Landlust area 68780 m2 19633 m2 Built up 7267 m2 Trafic street 2763 m2 Car parking 17516 m2 (35% of total unbuilt) Paved areas Recreational sp. 1004 m2 (5.7%) 16707 m2 Green 3477 m2 Green used

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Img. 3. Paved areas

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Img. 1,2 Few and far between recreational spaces for children

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GREEN As seen from the previous analysis of the paved zones, a large part of the neighbourhood external ground floor and plinths are hardly used due to their prescribed rigidity and the sharp boundary between public and private spheres. However from the diagrams on the left it can be observed that in addition to the large amount of free paved space there is a high percentage of green space within the area; to be precise 16707 m2 including internal gardens. However, only 20 % of the available green space is accessible – as the internal gardens of the blocks are hardly used (if ever) – largely due to there being no direct access to them (gates are permanently locked with access only via storages on the ground floor). They belong to the YMERE – the housing association which maintains the buildings and surroundings, who don’t encourage the use for fear of vandalizing. Therefore there seems to be a disconnect between the existence of these green areas and the proportion made available for use by the residents as a community space; for allotments, recreation space etc. Additionally the green space that is accessible is only for aesthetic purposes – planted with trees and shrubs. As a result all of the green zones in the area are permanently empty. A conversation with YMERE representatives elucidated that they had an ongoing issue of residents using the gardens as a ‘junk yard’ – emptying their litter into the garden, resulting in rat infestation. 44

Landlust area 68780 m2 19633 m2 Built up 7267 m2 Trafic street 2763 m2 Car parking 17516 m2 Paved areas Recreational sp. 1004 m2 16707 m2 (34% of total unbuilt) Green 3477 m2 (20.8 %) Green used

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Img. 1. Green zones

‘…people like being around each other; that there is nothing desirable or safe about empty places, whether they’re made of brick and mortar or covered in banal green grass.’45 – R. Suarez Shortcomings: as the green zones between blocks are not used and are not encouraged to be used, the inhabitants carry no sense of ownership for their surroundings, resulting in a lack of pride and care – thus the spaces are neglected; empty and littered – the residents don’t have an intention to appropriate and ‘beautify’ them. Contrarily, it could be assumed that residents are satisfied with their surroundings, and happy just to have ‘a pretty view’ from their homes; this begs the question of why no one uses it (even occasionally) therefore there is a greater potential in it than a beautiful view from the window.

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Potential: Landlust has a rather exceptional amount of space/gardens that are semi enclosed between blocks, and holds a great potential to foster social interaction and activity within the neighbourhood. ‘The involvement of communities and neighbourhoods in redevelopment process increase self-reliance and the likelihood of local economic growth. Networking all the participants to the planning effort around common agendas may forge productive social networks, which in turn may foster social entrepreneurship and more civic-minded behaviours. The rise of environment justice coalitions, the emergence of community development corporations, and the community gardens movement, to name just a few, are all examples of how co-development can foster shared values, reciprocity, and restoration of vital intercultural and transgenerational relationship.’46 -H. Brown Img. 3.Unused grass areas and shrubbery borders

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Img. 1. Locked away gardens

Img. 4. Unused grass areas and shrubbery borders

Img. 2. Locked away gardens

Img. 4. Littered communal spaces


CARS:

Landlust area 19633 m2 Built up 7267 m2 (14.8% of total unbuilt) Trafic street 2763 m2 (38%) Car parking 17516 m2 Paved areas Recreational sp. 1004 m2 16707 m2 Green 3477 m2 Green used

‘Due to car ownership growth, parking problems occur all over the city, from the centre up to residential fringe areas. The increased parking pressure (increased by 25 percent during the last two decades) affects the quality of public space and the liveability of residential areas. These problems are likely to increase in the near future as the number of cars per household does not appear to have reached saturation levels yet.’47 Landlust is no exception to the problem, even though the provision of traffic and car parking spaces is minimal (see images) – Roads including car parking spaces account for just 7267 m2 with car parking spaces taking 2763 m2 – the issue is relevant, as the designated car parking areas are located at the pavement, next to the entrances of the dwellings. As seen from the section ‘Paved areas’ – the pavements are barely used; cars are potentially one of the issues why the pavements are not appropriated, as even though the percentage of the land used by cars is low (considering that the standard dimensions of the car parking space are 2.4 x 4.8m and the that in the Landlust are 700 households, meaning only 1 out of 3 dwellings are allocated a parking space), the positioning of this land causes visual dominance; complexes seem car orientated, which creates ‘dead’ ground spaces at the edges of the buildings.

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Img. 2. Provision of traffic

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Elimination of the car traffic on the site – creating an all pedestrian zone. Designating more compact parking spaces that don’t intervene with the visual and physical aspect of the neighbourhood (Small parking lots – C. Alexander) Car parking underground.

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Img. 1. Cars at the edges of the blocks

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TRACE OF BLURRING BOUNDARIES IN THE LANDLUST

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Img. 1. Visual and physical connection from the street to the inner parts of the neighbourhood

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As discussed above it is illustrated that the rigidity of the site is predominant, the available paved and green spaces are underused due to the restricted design of the area, however there is one instance in the neighbourhood, that incorporates the notion of transition, non-rigid thresholds where the spheres of public and (semi) private meet and overlap. Img. 1 and 2, show the housing blocks’ end which faces Willem de Zweijgerlaan. The threshold is not marked by heavy gates (as in the case of gated communities) or by the closed typology of the block, rather, there is a distinct definition delineated by the block and the street, A fluid staged transition is created between the public/busy, to the semi-private neighbourhood realm (along the Ana van Burenstraat), to the private (the enclosed garden). The visual connection is fluid and a seemingly useable physical connection exists to the garden, however this physical connection is abruptly halted by a heavy locked gate (which is permanently closed), this results in not only stopping trespassing, but also preventing appropriation of the garden by the neighbourhood. There exists the suggestion of a blurred boundary between the public, semi-private and the private, however any notion of porosity is wiped out by the addition of this gate. The gate virtually becomes a blank wall, or boundary, as R. Sennett as well as C. Alexander describe the notion of the boundary – being the edge where things end, opposed to the border – the edge where different groups meet.48 Inevitably, it may be argued that the gate is in place for a reason – safety for the neighbourhood and prevention of vandalism. Therefore the issue of improving the current situation and the possible rejuvenation of the garden and its access will be further explored in the following part of this document.

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Img.2. Abrupt end to the transition, by the addition of the heavy gates to the gardens

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CONCLUSION As discussed above, we can distinguish 4 predominant patterns that negatively or positively affect liveliness of the neighbourhood: Diversity of the function Pavement Green Space Traffic (cars) The mono-functional fabric of the neighbourhood doesn’t attract a great flow of residents and passers-by, resulting in an empty neighbourhood. As concluded in the book ‘The City at the eye Level’ – ‘We must think of what makes a plinth sustainable for the next decades, as the demand for ground floor functions will differ in time and good plinths can allow the city to ‘breathe’. Design and build mixed-use, multi-purpose, non-specific buildings and plinths that can absorb many functions over time. They adopt a lay-out in which residential space, retail space, shops, and working space were constructed in the same street, even in the same building.’ 49 Diversification in the residential areas does not necessarily mean an increase in traffic and noise pollution within the neighbourhood, rather an opportunity for networking, development of cooperation and fostering a sense of belonging (in the case of community or residents’ based mixed program facilities). In the case of external businesses, it brings life into the core of the neighbourhood. Constraints: the ground floor of the Landlust blocks are used as storage spaces which are partially underground and do not have one full story of height. Pavements; at present these are ‘dead spaces’ in the area and no activity can be traced at any given time – a sense of community or neighbourhood is not apparent. Opportunities: as the neighbourhood is not surrounded by busy infrastructure on all sides, there are possibilities to expand the pavements. n order to be used for the partial extension/opening of the facades. Solution; to avoid a clear-cut distinction between public and private in favour of semi-public space (the community thrives in blurred edges). Pedestrians feel more at home if this hybrid zone shows signs of human activity, instead of just hard blank walls. It is difficult to design a street with mutual satisfaction for

both residents and passers-by. Design the plinth so that it offers something to the passer-by and reserves a bit for the resident, such as small front gardens or private zones along the pavement.50 Green spaces; presently gardens are unused and underappreciated – a ‘noman’s-land’ within the urban block. Residents don’t feel that it is a part of their home and therefore littering/vandalism occurs. Opportunities: Green spaces are a great contingency to enliven the neighbourhood, they provide spaces for common interests/hobbies, leisure time and promote a ‘feel good’ factor in the neighbourhood. Traffic; presently cars dominate the street level of Landlust, paradoxically, considering the provision for local traffic and car parking space is minimal. The location of the car parks at the edge of the buildings prevents the pavement from being used at all. Solution – it could be of interest to the neighbourhood to make allotted car free zones (as has been developed in the new built projects, such as GWL Terrein, Amsterdam). Constraints: a large amount of cars on the street would need to be moved, either into small pockets within the neighbourhood or just outside (which might not be possible, practical or popular) alternatively develop underground parking facilities for the residents, which may also present problems owing to the high underground water-table. Finally, as has been concluded the neighbourhood lacks fluidity between the buildings and their surroundings resulting in harshly abrupt borders or boundaries between private and public realms. As has been discovered that on the Willem de Zweijgerlaan side of the neighbourhood, where building façades are eliminated, the transition between the spheres is palpable. The building unfolds itself into the street, thus allowing a visual and partially physical connection to run through the neighbourhood. This instance in the design specific to the location appears a partial success, (when considering its ‘Porosity’), therefore it is fair to question why no further instances exist and what impact they may have if a similar typology of this design were integrated into the neighbourhood. These questions will be explored in detail in the following part of the research – Merkelbach, the journey around the block.

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Img. 1. Groundwater level at Landlust

Img. 2. GWL Terrein, Amsterdam, no provision for cars in the neighbourhood

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PART 5, MERKELBACH, THE JOURNEY AROUND THE BLOCK In the previous two chapters ‘Learning from the city’ and ‘Merkelbach: neighbourhood of blurred boundaries’ the following has been learned: Firstly, blurring the borders between public and private spheres (hybrid zones) is of great benefit to the prosperousness (economically and socially) of the street and/or the neighbourhood. The following patterns were recognised as the key to prosperity; transparency plinth, diversity, life in and between buildings and the balance between cars and pedestrians. However, the direct visibility, such as was emphasised in the example of the successful shopping street – Haarlemmerdijk – is not always desirable, especially in residential areas51 , thus blank façades and locked garage doors do not bring security, satisfaction or the sense of place, resulting in abandoned streets, which neither residents, nor passers-by are keen to use. The need to achieve a compromise between these two extremes is crucial for a thriving neighbourhood – this theme will be explored in this chapter. Secondly, from a broad analysis of the Landlust neighbourhood it was discovered that the core of the site is rather opposed to the notion of ‘hybrid zones’ – this has resulted in a deserted neighbourhood on street level. The neighbourhood is a reflection of the earlier discussed ideas of the Modernist movement – a moderate density neighbourhood, an emphasis on central green areas (which are sadly not used) and buildings divorced from the street – which results in a ‘separation of land use, rather than healthy integration.’52

and past without any modulation. In this rather dissonant way, growth in an open city is a matter of evolution rather than erasure.’ Also he adds that the over-determination or otherwise ‘close system’ is where everything happens ‘all at once which results in low quality.’53 From this we may infer that renewal of the existing urban environment has to be sensitive and the ideas generated have to be tentative and gradual.

Img. 1. Copy/Cut and paste approach to the renewal

Blank wall > Add objects which offer rest > Encourages activity > Activity encourages curiosity > Proximity encourages contact > Results in social interaction and appropriation of the space. ‘The contrast to the closed system lies in a different kind of social system, not in brute private enterprise – a system which is open socially to different voices who attend to one another, rather who each do their own thing in isolation.’- R. Sennett54

As R. Sennett in his essay and lectures ‘The Open City’ argues; over-determination results in ‘frozen cities’ which decay much quicker than the urban fabric inherited from the past, as ‘the fixed forms-function relation makes them difficult to adapt’, therefore over-specification leads to ‘Brittle Cities’ – people fleeing decaying environments rather reinvesting in them. The resultant action is ‘renewal’ – which results in the displacement of people who have lived and become rooted in the locations. ‘It is more complicated than simple replacement of what existed before; it requires a dialogue between past and present forms, a dialogue which is amorphous and often juxtaposes present Img. 2. Empowered society/ neighbourhood vs. isolated voices MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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ANALOGY OF THE ORANGE:

The following research will try to discover patterns that could help to ‘unpeel’

Analogy of the Orange: While discovering the concept of the openness of the city with its economic and social benefits for inhabitants (as opposed to the rigidity and inflexibility that arguably prevailed in the ideologies of Modernist movement city planning, and which Merkelback shows all the predominant features of) it made me think about the orange. The images below show the same orange in two different ways; on the left an unpeeled orange on a table representing an autonomous building, such as Merkelback – in its settings aesthetically pleasing and orderly – just as intended, introverted, therefore impenetrable. On the right, an open orange; it provides a fragrance signalling the pleasures that are an integral part of the eating experience, this represents the building that opens up into the street and becomes an integral part of the celebration of public life – the city.

Img. 1. Autonomous orange

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Img. 2. Appropriated orange

the introverted body of the block, in order to discover the potentials of the Merkelbach block. Additionally, it must be considered that the subject of investigation is a Municipal monument; therefore the proposed adjustments to the fabric of the edifice must be sensitive to the cultural/historical values.

This part of the research will resume the analysis technique of the Vignettes, as was carried out in Chapter 3; ‘Learning from the city’. The journey will proceed from the threshold at the intersection of Willem de Zweijgerlaan and Juliana van Stolbergstraat, and will continue around the Merkelbach block in order to recognise in more detail the current situation and apply already discovered beneficial patterns of the porosity, or the ‘hybrid zones’ in an attempt to revitalise the neighbourhood.


As mentioned, the journey will begin at the threshold to Juliana van Stolbergstraat.

Img. 2. Mapped journey around Merkelbach

Img. 3. Unfolded journey

Img. 4. Analysis by category Moments of Vignettes/ Nods Activity level

Physical body Img. 1. Intersection of Willem de Zweijgerlaan and Juliana van Stolbergstraat Presence

As mentioned, the journey will begin at the threshold to Juliana van Stolbergstraat. Images on the right are maps indicating stops where Vignettes and observations were taken. The collage of urban mapping which can be seen one by one on the right hand side; categories were chosen relating to the scenery of the street changes; 1. Chosen analysis node, 2. The activity levels, 3. Physical body of the built environment, 4. its appearance (meaning how overwhelming or not the physical body of architecture feels in its context), 5. The infrastructure (intersecting roads/streets) 6.Social active zones – how active the plinth of the street is, 7. Visual connections along the journey and finally, 8. The thresholds (either physical or visual).

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Road intersections

Visual Connections Thresholds MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Stage 1 (middle of the Juliana van Stolbergstraat) This location was chosen to be the middle of the street, as the relationship between building façade and the street do not vary along the street. Wing of the building 4 story height with a flat roof.

Environment

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25m

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Juliana van Stolbergstraat

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standing

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Facilities/ Property

residential

Img. 3. Section of the building edge

The starting pattern of this part of the analysis is allocated as –building edge, the relationship between the building edge and its immediate surroundingsthe street. Img. 1. Plan

Present situation:

Img. 2. Section

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BUILDING EDGE- ‘building is most often thought of as something which turns inward-toward its rooms. Building becomes socially isolated- no-man’s land.’55 In this case that is the present situation. The building edge stands flush to the street, the problem lies in the fact that no strong connections exist between the territorial world within the building and the purely public world outside. No areas exist which are in any way ambiguous – everything is purely private


(territorial) or public. As discussed earlier – the pavements of the street at Merkelbach are hardly used, only as a perfunctory space for accessing the building. SOLUTION 1: Arcades at the building edge help to create space which people who are outside the building can use to feel more intimately connected with the building.56 Creating a ‘hybrid zone’ at the edge – a second façade that is partially a building/partially a street. It provides a shelter from the climatic conditions and can be appropriated even during cold periods.

Img. 3. Car dominated building edge

Img. 1,2. An Arcade/ second skin can provide shelter and at the same time smooth the transition between public zone and the private- creating a ‘Hybrid zone’

A permeable (transparent) second skin does not restrict natural light for internal spaces, it creates shelter, and provides visibility and openness – this may encourage the appropriation of the building edge by its inhabitants and occasional passers-by (not always a negative aspect).

As observed previously in ‘Merkelbach: neighbourhood of blurred boundaries’, the number of roads and car parking spaces is relatively limited in the area. However, due to the location of the designated spaces, just by the entrances to the blocks, a sense of car dominated space is created – the building is cut off from the rest of available surroundings – and is thus not considered a place for lingering. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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SOLUTION 2. ‘SMALL PARKING LOTS’- clearly the total elimination of cars is impossible, however one of the solutions may lie in the creation of small parking spaces which are offset from the building façade. C. Alexander suggests – ‘It is hard to pin down the exact size at which parking lots become too big. Our observations suggest that parking lots for four cars are still essentially pedestrian and human in character; that lots for six cars are acceptable; but that any area near a parking lot which holds eight cars is already clearly identifiable as ‘car dominated territory’.’57 By relocating the parking spaces (whilst ensuring they remain an appropriate size) there would be a potential to eliminate some parts of the road on the site and expand the pavement. This increase in the pavement size would be a catalyst to creating a lively building – as there would be no immediate border, this pavement would become a part of the social fabric. In the research conducted by Ton Schaap it was found that where pavements were wide enough residents would gradually start occupying parts of the zone, by placing benches, planters and pavement gardens.

Img. 2. Current situation Img. 3. Expanding pavement, condensing parking to small areas

LIMITATION: Due to the raised ground level floor, the residence do not have a direct access to the street level from their dwellings, this might stop them from appropriating the pavement, even though it would become available to them. SOLUTION 3. Introduction of porches and balconies could solve the problem of a lack of AMBIGUOUS SPACES- There is too little ambiguity between indoors and outdoors. People need an ambiguous in-between realm – a porch, or a veranda, as part of their ordinary life within the house, so that they can drift naturally to the outside. The danger of strictly allocated private space could be avoided and can create ‘hybrid zones’, where residents can meet and informally interact, whilst remaining within their own realms. Additionally, appropriation of the pavements and displacing the notion of external ownership leads to sense of belonging, therefore care for, and pride in, the surroundings.58 Thus, the antisocial behaviour, such as littering communal areas (as discussed in chapter 4) may be avoided.

Img. 1. Extending the pavement

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is allocated for the entrances, the possibility to relocate the entrances seems not necessarily possible. Additionally the north façade is the face of the block, with the rear of the building reserved for the communal garden. The North east façade is over 170m long which means that all of the northern side of the facade has uninterrupted shade. An initial solution comes in mind – the partial omission of the existing building surface and insertion of partially transparent interventions that could have multiple functions/benefits to the overall structure – it would allow sunlight into the northern side of the edifice, may encourage greater activity, and break up the monotonous façade. The other positive aspects of this potential intervention will be discussed in later stages (Large entrance, communal space, connection to the garden, light). ‘Great street requires physical characteristics that help the eyes do what they want do, must do: move. Every great street has this quality. …. Visual complexity is what is required, but it must not be so complex as to become chaotic or disorientating’61 -C. Alexander Img. 1. Appropriation of the pavement/ displaying ownership

‘..., what a great city (environment) manages to do is enable the better parts of its inhabitants to be free to pursue their own diverse interests in the context of personal freedom, which means that they are free to take chance….’59- Sanford Ikeda. NORTH FACE The above suggestions may offer limited potential due to the alignment of the blocks – the façade on Julaina van Stolbergstaat faces a North-Easterly direction meaning the pavement and the road remains at all times in the shade. Clearly access to sunlight is crucial in promoting activity, as shaded areas offer less appeal. ‘It is essential to find a way of making these north-facing areas alive, at least in their own terms, so that they help the land around them instead of breaking it apart.’60 C. Alexander suggests that the north facades could be used as a car shelter, storage, litter bin areas, or a studio. In this case the possibility of the former three appear not suitable as the main façade

Img.2. Breaking up the facade, for sun access MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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MAIN ENTRANCE(S)

At present the entrances into the communal staircases are located at even intervals, facilitating entry for 8 households each. As well as the façade, the transition between the street and the entrance is non-existent; it is abrupt and flush to the façade.

3 ARGUMENTS OVER THE PROBABLE INCONVENIENCE OF SUCH AN ENTRANCE. Firstly, the entrance must be placed in such a way that people who approach, see it as soon as they see the building itself – it must be shaped so that it is clearly visible. C. Alexander suggests two options for the entrance 1. The entrance sticks out beyond the building line.2. The building is higher around the entrance, and this height is visible along the approach.62 Presently the doors are emphasised by the exaggeration of their height, therefore in terms of visibility it’s not an issue to locate them. Secondly, the lack of sheltering on the external side can be an inconvenience; and activities, such as opening a door on a rainy day can be troublesome. Therefore recession, and/or the addition of a type of porch (or simple shelter) would be highly suitable. Thirdly, ENTRANCE TRANSITION- ‘ If the transition is too abrupt there is no feeling of arrival, and the inside of the building fails to be an inner sanctum, .., While people are on the street, they adopt a style of “street behaviour.” When they come into a house they naturally want to get rid of this street behaviour and settle down completely into the more intimate spirit appropriate to a house.’63 This last problem can be also resolved by adding a threshold – an additional transitional space prior the entering the closed communal stairway.

Img. 2. Entrance flush to the street

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Img. 1. Existing Flush door and addition of the shelter at the top


Img. 2. Porch added to the entrance and recessed entrance

WINDOWS

Presently, French windows, as the doors are flush to the façade, they span from floor to ceiling in the dwellings and are openable. It has been noticed in the observations carried out on the site, that these windows are rarely used. Being on the upper floors of the façade they do not necessarily contribute to the closeness or open feeling of the overall building. The addition of a small balcony can increase the dwelling square meters by acting as an additional space and encourage dwellers to use the large opening as a source of natural ventilation. Additionally, the previously discussed potential of adding a second façade to the edifice (see solution one of this chapter), can act as a walkway on the upper stories; however this would impact upon resident’s privacy. Therefore these two patterns- ADDITIONAL BALCONY and COMMUNAL WALKWAY, are not without their downsides, however they may provide a suitable solution.

Img. 1.Present situation, façade flush French windows MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Conclusion During this chapter we have discussed the following patterns: BUILDING EDGE TRANSPARENCY ARCADE (SECOND SKIN/FAÇADE) SMALL PARKING LOTS MAIN ENTRANCE ENTRANCE TRANSITION WINDOWS NORTH FACE

Img. 2. External balcony additional space

These patterns are preliminary tools for ascertaining what solutions may help to ‘open up’ an introverted edifice into the street. The obvious benefit of this is helping the residents to have a greater ability to engage with their surroundings and gain greater pride in their homes, not only as for internal spaces, but also its context within the street. However, as we are working within the existing built environment the following issues must be considered; firstly, whether the interventions and additions would be a desecration of what is a Municipal monument; the interventions must be sensitive to the Cultural/ Historical values of the edifice, so that the ideological and the physical body of the block remains intact and recognisable. Secondly, as we are working with the existing structure, the limitations of the structural grid and load bearing qualities must be recognised. Interventions such as a second skin or breaking up the façade for the incision of (semi) transparent sections might not be a viable solution. Considering pattern- NORTH FACE- If the suggested solutions are impossible due to the lack of sunlight, these same patterns may be applied to the other side of the building on Louise de Colignystraat which faces a South-East direction, and is otherwise identical to the Juliana van Stolbergstraat façade.

Img.3. External Communal walkway

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STAGE 2 (INTERSECTION JULIANA VAN STOLBERGSTRAAT AND BESTEVAERSTRAAT) The chosen location at the intersection of the streets, the corner of the building – shows a change in character, the building wing on the Bestevaerstraat is 1 story in height with a pitched roof, originally intended to provide housing for elderly people of 4 dwellings.

Img. 3. Corner of the block, present situation

Img. 1. Plan

Img. 2. Section

In this section, the pattern -BUILDING EDGE should be the first pattern on the list, however, due to the typology of the building and its relationship to the street this pattern does not vary along the perimeter, the Pattern will be taken as discussed in ‘First Analysis’, therefore I shall proceed directly to the subsequent patterns, in order to avoid repetition.

Environment

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Currently this part of the complex is used for a small nursery and residential homes. As with the rest of the façades, it is inwardly focussed, however unlike the 4 story wings, the ground floor is occupied by dwellings with direct access onto the street. Unfortunately, as with the Juliana van Stolbergstraat façade it is also Northwards facing – as a result the inhabitants do not take advantage of the available space on the pavement (4.5m), this is occupied by bike racks and greenery; resulting in another section of the pavement being ‘dead’ most of the time. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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A characteristic of the location is that the wing of the dwelling lies in between the reasonably busy road Bestevaerstraat, and the internal garden. The location suggests two areas for redevelopment, firstly the question is raised of whether the location is ideal for apartments due to its proximity to the main road; instead placing small offices or local shops (aspect discussed previouslymultifunctionality) may be more suitable; secondly the opportunity to create a common space, such as small outdoor meeting space or further bike rack space as more payment space is available. SOLUTION 1: MULTIFUNCTIONALITY- as this wing is located perpendicularly to the 2 main wings of the complex (4 story wings), it is considered that the wing is partially removed from the main residential block. A proposal to utilise the space for retail/office facilities may be appropriate, as this would mean less direct noise pollution for the residential blocks adjacent. Additionally, open offices and shops require open facades, which would enable the incorporation of the–TRANSPARENCY that exists due to its proximity to traffic. This connection to the street, as small shops or cafés, provides a simple opportunity for appropriating the street gradually, as it would involve both residents and passers-by. Currently it possesses an open façade to a busy main road which presents issues of privacy considering its current usage as dwellings; this contrasts with Juliana van Stolbergstraat, the street sits at the core of the residential block and its road is most often used only for access to the dwellings and not as a thoroughfare. A further benefit to the changed usage is the north facing façade – not a problem for shops and offices, but rather an advantage. ‘OPENING TO THE STREET-the wall along the street is made of glass, and the view in is of some inviting activity. No matter how the opening is formed, it is essential that it expose the ordinary activity inside in a way that invites people passing to take it in and have some relationship, however modest, to it.’64 ‘In this way the street can become not only a transitional space, but a street where things happen and people meet.’65 - C. Alexander

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Img. 1. Opening of the street

SOLUTION 2: BIKE RACKS or PUBLIC OUTDOOR ROOM At present the area seems to be overcrowded not only by the standing cars, but also by a large number of randomly placed bikes; on hedges, sides of buildings and so on. The obvious conclusion is that designated bike racks and storages are insufficient or inadequate in the area. Therefore the dwellings could be converted into communal bike storage. A shelter with columns and a semi-transparent/transparent facade, such as mesh, would be suitable for the function. ‘Build the racks for bikes to one side of the main entrance, so that the bikes don’t interfere with people’s natural movement in and out and give it some shelter, with the path from the racks to the entrance also under shelter.’66- C. Alexander Whilst the problem of bike storage certainly needs addressing, using the already constructed residence for this purpose is perhaps an inefficient use of the available space;


the PUBLIC OUTDOOR ROOM is another solution for this wing. As these dwellings are directly connected to the courtyard garden this can become a continuation of the garden and also a transition to the street. At the moment the only other access to the gardens is via a small gate from Bestevaerstraat, which is permanently locked. ‘In every neighbourhood and work community, make a piece of the common land into an outdoor room-a partly enclosed place, with some roof, columns, without walls, perhaps with a trellis; place it beside an important path and within view of many homes and workshops…. it would be possible to leave an outdoor room unfinished, with the understanding it can be finished by people who live nearby, When indoor community rooms are provided, they are rarely used. People don’t want to plunge into a situation which they don’t know.’67 - C. Alexander Also the transparent or semi-transparent wall of the shelter provides a VISUAL CONNECTION from the street to the garden, which might result in a greater use of the garden by the residents, and with a partially open structure uninvited trespassing can be avoided, as the structure provides a threshold that signals a level of privacy.

Conclusion In this part following patterns have been discussed: BUILDING EDGE NORTH FACE TRANSPARENCY MULTIFUNCTIONALITY OPEN TO THE STREET BIKE RACKS PUBLIC OUTDOOR ROOM VISUAL CONNECTION

Introverted

Patterns discussed above are preliminary solutions to the given section of the block; it addresses the issues of the isolation of the building from the street and also the disconnection between the street and the internal garden. The solution of the multifunctional space seems to be quite acceptable, as it addresses the issue of openness, but still maintains the physical body of the existing structure; the second – opening up of the structure is a Connected more drastic approach; however it must be questioned which the better solution for the complex is. Besides, as we have seen, the inhabitants of the block would benefit from a better allocation of bike storage and an open public space could be a core for the community. The point addressed by C. Alexander about incompleteness is the key to this investigation, as has been seen before with theorists such R. Sennett, J. Jacobs and many more – the rigidity of design subdues human activity – individuals are compelled to do what the built environment dictates and not vice versa, therefore struggle to appropriate it. Open ‘There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.’68 -J. Jacobs

Img. 1. Semi-transparent shelter or public outdoor room MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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STAGE 3 (BESTEVAERSTRAAT) This part of analysis will recap already discussed patterns from the standing point of the Bestevaerstraat

Img. 2. Existing elevation Environment

Occupacy

(at a given time)

17 m

~4 stories

‘Pedestrians feel more at home if this hybrid zone shows signs of human activity, instead of just hard blank walls’.69 - C. Alexander

~1 stories

Bestevaerstraat

X~3

The Same applies to the connection with the garX~2 den – at present the entrance to the garden is a narX ~ 20 row tunnel-like gate, which is permanently locked. residential/ Passing by you are afforded only a glimpse of what’s Facilities/ kindergarten Property behind it, but the gate and the transition are rather off putting. It could be argued that a private (or semi-private) garden should not be readily visible to avoid encouraging negative interest etc., however it may also contribute to why the residents don’t use it either. standing

Img. 1. Plan

The image on the left shows the existing elevation of the edifice, a 1 story wing at the front of the street and 4 story wings at the back. As previously discussed the complex is of an introverted nature, however the large windows at the edges of the 4 story wings provide a notion of openness – while walking past you can actually see the dwellers inside, it gives a glimpse of habitation and connectedness for the passer-by, without disturbing the dwellers directly. Why can’t such glimpses be allowed more regularly in order to open up the building? People need people, directly or indirectly.

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There is a potential to open up the entrance to the internal garden, which will add not only connectedness from the street to the garden but also from the garden to the street. As will be discussed in the analysis of the internal garden, the connection (visual or physical) on this side of the block (from the garden side) is limited, as it is surrounded by the body of building. ‘…people do not sit facing brick walls-they place themselves toward the view or toward whatever there is in the distance that comes nearest to a view.’ – HIERARCHY OF OPEN SPACES.70 This can be combined with the pattern of the MULTIFUNCTIONALITY or BIKE RACKS and PUBLIC OUTDOOR ROOM.


Img. 2. Closed off

Img. 3. Open, connection to the garden

Img. 4. Open up the garden into the street, people don’t face brick wall

The image below shows the exploration of several patterns placed together: MULTIFUNCTIONALITY, HIERARCHY OF OPEN SPACES, BUILDING EDGE, TRANSPARENCY, OPEN TO THE STREET, ARCADE (SECOND SKIN) and several more that will be explored in later stage.

Img. 1. Closed off unappealing tunnel-like entrance to the garden

Img.5. Combination of several patterns MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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STAGE 4 (INTERSECTION OF BESTEVAERSTRAAT AND LUISE DE COLIGNYSTRAAT) In this part of the chapter the Louise de Colignystraat façade will be analysed; this wing lies parallel to, and is an identical mirror of the already discussed façade on Juliana van Stolbergstraat, therefore we will assume that the patterns that were applied in the first part of this chapter can be used in the same way here. Additional patterns will be applied and analysed here as this façade has a South-Easterly orientation, meaning the dwellings on this side are afforded a much greater exposure to sun; especially as the adjacent building ‘Koningsvrouwen van Landlust’ is set back about 25 meters away.

Img. 3. Axonometric view of the block, present situation Environment

25 m

Occupacy

~4 stories

Bestevaerstraat/ Colignystraat

X~2

(at a given time)

X~3

The following returns to the issue of the entrance, as seen before the entrances of this structure to the shared stairway are rather compact and perfunctory, the possibilities explored: Img. 1. Plan

X ~ 15

standing

Facilities/ Property

residential

Large airy openings for the entrances/threshold/internal semi-public spaces improve visibility and encourage resident interaction. The stairway becomes not only a transitional space but also an ‘ENTRY ROOM’. First – open up the entrance only on the ground floor, this way the allocation of the entrances is more obvious.

Img. 2. Section

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COMMON AREAS AT THE HEART- ‘No social group-whether a family, a work group, or (a neighbourhood)-can survive without constant informal contact among its members… The only balanced situation is the one where a common path, which people use every day, runs tangent to the common areas and is open to them in passing. T hen people will be constantly passing the space; but because the path is to one side, they are not forced to stop. If they want to, they can keep going. If they want to, they can stop for a moment, and see what’s happening; if they want to, they can come right in and settle down.’72 - C. Alexander

Img. 3. Expansion of the entrance door

Second – a more daring intervention, the staircase becomes a large transparent opening (from ground floor to the roof). The stairway becomes not simply a perfunctory, semi dark hallway but also a space where residents may be encouraged to linger, interact and appropriate the space. This addresses the issue of the ‘hybrid zone’ not only on the street level, but also within the borders of the edifice. As the climatic conditions in the Netherlands are not always favourable for outdoor activities, the communal spacious and light hall could become ‘COMMON AREAS AT THE HEART’ as well as ‘ENTRY ROOM’.

From this pattern we can see in importance of the informal, non-rigid spaces – people are free-spirited beings, therefore resistant to being ‘told’ what to do, especially in their home environments. Common spaces that are specifically designed for residential gatherings, generally don’t work; examples may be seen in ‘Narkomfin Dom-Kommuna’ in Moscow (Moisei Grinzbur1928-32), where ‘the annex block of the residential building was meant to be the heart of the Social Condenser, the place where the bulk of private activities would... take place collectively’73 , however some years later the block no longer performed this function. Similarly in Byker Wall Newcastle (Ralph Erskine, 196982), ‘hobby rooms’ which were designed for the Byker community to undertake common interests together, lie vacant at present, are used as storage, or converted into extra bedrooms for adjacent dwellings.74 From this can be learned that specified formal spaces for communal activities do not necessarily work, therefore less-rigid spaces encourage spontaneous activities and mutual interaction.

Constraints – the existing structure; loadbearing walls surround the stairway, therefore it has to be considered whether there are margins to move the existing walls without affecting the soundness of the structure. Alternatively the stairway could be expanded along the depth of the building all the way to the internal garden façade. ENTRY ROOM -‘Arriving in a building, or leaving it, you need a room to pass through, both inside the building and outside it. This is the entrance room.’71- C. Alexander

Img. 4. Present situation

Expansion in width

Facade to facade hall

MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Img. 2. Provide transparency rather than blank walls

Furthermore, as already discussed – signs of activity instead of blank walls make individuals feel more at home/more connected to the space they inhabit, even for a short while – blurring the boundaries between private and public zones makes the city a more habitable and pleasant place to be.- TRANSPARENCY. Img. 1. Intervention provides visual and physical connection to the garden and access to the roof top

Finally, other patterns can be discovered with the help of the introduction of the hallway intervention - HIGH PLACES and ROOF GARDEN.

Considering the option of an entrance hall penetrating all the way through the edifice, this would add a connection to the inner garden from the street. The connection between the garden and the street does not currently exist, which effects the usability of the available green space – residents do not have direct access to the garden; from the street, from their homes, or from the communal areas of the building. This intervention would provide not only access from the street but also direct access from the household; this ease of usage would increase the likelihood of the utilisation of the space.

HIGH PLACES- The instinct to climb up to some high place, from which you can look down and survey your world, seems to be a fundamental human instinct. Place yourself within ‘the world’ that you live in.76 Now and then everyone needs to escape the world from the street or the household; people go to mountainous areas or simply climb a tower, as a kind of escapism whilst at the same time providing beautiful panoramic views of the surroundings. These places don’t have to be distant; the creation of roof-top gardens would also provide this. Therefore providing access to the roof of the block can be a good way to provide this possibility, simply by extending the intervention one flight up for access.

OPEN UP GARDEN - Visual connection via a transparent, airy entryway/stairway ‘if a garden is too close to the street, people won’t use it because it isn’t private enough. But if it is too far from the street, then it won’t be used either, because it is too isolated.’75 The glass entry acts as a threshold between the street and the garden, it is visually connected, but at the same time removed, which acts a blurred border – effectively discouraging unwanted trespassing and at the same time effectively encouraging participation and involvement.

Img. 2. High places- placing yourself in the world

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As discussed HIGH PLACES do not have to be distant and/or exotic, they may be just above your household; this leads to the following pattern- ROOF GARDEN.

SOUTH FACE- south façade is the most important part of the building, that’s were appropriation of the space happens most commonly, especially in the colder climates, such as the Netherlands.

‘Vast part of the earth’s surface, in a town, consists of roofs. Couple this with the fact that the total area of a town which can be exposed to the sun is finite, therefore it is essential to make roofs which take advantage of the sun and air.’77- C. Alexander

‘But even if the outdoor areas around a building are toward the south, this still won’t guarantee that people actually will use them. …if the place is really to work, there must be a good reason for going there: something special which draws a person there-a swing, a potting table for plants, a special view, a brick step to sit upon and look into a pool-whatever, so long as it has the power to bring a person there almost without thinking about it’ 78- C. Alexander

As the 4 story wings of the Merkelbach block have flat roofs it is a great opportunity to explore the possibility of a green roof. At present it is blank roof with no additional purpose, which appears an under-utilisation of the available space. This addition would be of particular convenience to those households on the third or fourth floor, providing alternative and more accessible garden space then the courtyard garden. Any danger of individual ownership is avoided as the entrance to the roof is from the communal area, but there remains the possibility to appropriate individual space also. Due to structural reasons, the loadbearing capacity of the foundations is at its maximum, a simple extensive roof can be used to replace the standard roof as it is much more efficient – this would enable the roof conversion to take place. As C. Alexander pointed out, for convenient access to the roof top the additional story is required, as climbing a ladder would generally prove to be an obstacle, instead a staircase within the interior of the hallway intervention would be extended to the roof.

However on the Louise de Colignystraat the block is as closed as its mirror on Juliana van Stolbergstraat, and as a result it is not used suitably. The patterns explored in part 1 of this chapter should be definitely tested here. They mostly explore the possibilities on the street level; however the advantageous South facing aspect of the building should be explored on the façade above street level. At present most of the facing windows come from living rooms of the dwellings, therefore there is an opportunity to expand living spaces outdoors with the help of hanging balconies. Balconies would offer dual benefits; enlarging the liveable space of the living room and adding sunny (SOUTH FACE) private outdoor space for the residents. RECESSED BALCONIES- Possibilities; provide slightly extruded balconies, which are partially recessed into the façade or recess all within to the dwelling in order not to cast shadows over windows on lower floors. Partially recessed balconies provide greater privacy whilst still taking advantage of the sun; they also encourage private activity on the exterior of the block -LIVELY FAÇADE. SIX FOOT BALCONY (approx. 1.8 m) - ‘Balconies and porches which are less than six feet deep are hardly ever used. Balconies and porches are often made very small to save money; but when they are too small, they might just as well not be there. As far as enclosure goes, we have noticed that among the deeper balconies, it is those with half-open enclosures around them-columns, wooden slats, rose-covered trellises-which are used most. Apparently, the partial privacy given by a half-open screen makes people more comfortable (recesses do exactly the same).’79 - C. Alexander

Img. 1. Roof terrace on Merkelbach block MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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CONCLUSION: In this part the following patterns have been explored: ENTRY ROOM COMMON AREAS AT THE HEART OPEN UP GARDEN TRANSPARENCY HIGH PLACE ROOF GARDEN SOUTH FACE RECESSED BALCONY SIX FOOT BALCONY (1.8M) Unlike the previous analysis of this chapter, the emphasis was not only on the street level but also the floors above, the roof and the communal internal spaces (hallway). As the building faรงade has an advantageous position to the south it has a greater possibility to be used as a social zone at street level as well as on the upper floors. Additionally, it has been discovered that transparency, that could be provided by a hallway intervention could have a multiple benefits to the overall block; creating a visual and physical connection between the street and the garden, convenient access to the garden from the dwellings, spacious shared internal spaces, and access to the roof. Furthermore, even though this research is concentrating on the blurring boundaries between private and public, it cannot be forgotten, that the private external zones are also crucial for the dwellers, therefore recessed balconies on the south side are advantageous to the dwellers as well as making the building faรงade livelier.

Img. 1.Extending living rooms into the south facade

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STAGE 5 (ANA VAN BURENSTRAAT) In this part of the chapter Ana van Burenstraat will be analysed, the road runs parallel to the Willem de Zweijgerlaan which is set back into the site and penetrates the Merkelbach and other adjacent housing blocks. Additionally the connection between the Willem de Zweijgerlaan and the inner section of the block will be discussed, as Ana van Burenstraat is part of the threshold that currently exists on the site – a prominent aspect of the existing urban block that incorporates the notion of the ‘blurring boundaries’, as will be seen from the following analysis. The road that runs underneath and penetrates the housing blocks, acts as an access root between Juliana van Stolbergstraat and Karel Doormanstraat (which lies on the southernmost side of the Landlust neighbourhood). The road acts mainly as an access route for the cars, but also as a shortcut for the pedestrians, even though the pavement, especially underneath the edifices is minimal (See Img. 1). Img. 2. Ana van Burenstraat,Plan

Despite the fact that the physical body of the edifice, underpass and the pavement require rejuvenation, the road visually and physically connects the neighbourhood, incorporates already widely discussed patterns from earlier in this chapter, patterns which are within the realms of the ‘blurring boundaries’ concept.

Img. 1. Ana van Burenstraat, an underpass that penetrates the block

Environment

4 stories

Ana van Burenstraat 9.5m

Occupacy

X ~2

(at a given time)

X~1 X~2 Facilities/ Property

Residential

Firstly, the passages under the buildings create the sense of arcades, the pattern -ARCADES, as discussed in Stage 1. Arcades help passers-by feel more intimately connected with the buildings; additionally they may provide temporary shelter from the weather. Both sides of the underpass are bordered by the simple blank walls of the building, however the function of this space means this is not a negative aspect, therefore, from initial observations, no drastic interventions are necessary. It could be argued, whether a more pedestrian friendly situation could be provided, such as wider pavements or the opening in the façade, however, in this case, MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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these are minor considerations, as Ana van Burenstraat is quiet inner road of the neighbourhood, and used only occasionally by local traffic ensuring potential clashes between pedestrians and traffic are unlikely. Further, as discussed in the Part 1, if the pattern SMALL PARKING LOTS in mplemented and the number of inner roads could be reduced, Ana van Burenstraat could act as a drop off point for the neighbourhood. Secondly, the pattern of VISUAL CONNECTION, discussed in this chapter on a numerous occasions, is the strongest aspect of the location. As mentioned above, the road and the underpass connect the neighbourhood both visually and physically, as can be seen from Img. 1, the alternation between darker passageways underneath the buildings and the diagonal openings into the street (or the gardens) creates a sequence of thresholds in the area that connect not only the street (or the front) facades of the block, but also connect to the rest of the neighbourhood. As seen from the earlier stages of this chapter, this pattern is generally missing in the rest of the urban block. Also it acts as the sole access (not considering that the main opening to the gardens is facing Willem de Zweijgerlaan, which will be discussed shortly) to the inner garden from the front façade of the block, and therefore acts as a pattern already discussed -OPEN TO THE STREET. Furthermore, from this can be drawn another positive pattern, the sequence of the partially enclosed passageway and the perpendicular openings between edifices create a pattern TAPESTRY OF LIGHT AND DARK. ‘People are by nature phototropic- they move toward light, and, when stationary, they orient themselves toward the light. As a result the much loved and much used places in buildings, where the most things happen,… since settings are defined by “places,’’ which in turn seem often to be defined by light, and since light places can only be defined by contrast with darker ones, this suggests that the interior parts of buildings where people spend much time should contain a great deal of alternating light and dark. The building needs to be a tapestry of light and dark. This tapestry of light and dark must then fit together with the flow of movement, too. As we have said, people naturally tend to walk toward the light.’- C. Alexander

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In this quote, C. Alexander speaks of the importance of the contrasts between light and dark within buildings – this can just as easily applied to the exterior of the buildings. The preliminary conclusion may be drawn that this pattern draws people to move. As the passageways are not too deep they can’t act as long gloomy dark tunnels, but rather promote the movement through the site, through the neighbourhood, and encourage people to ‘discover the sunny places’.

Img. 1. Visual and physical connection through the passagesways

The other aspect of this location which is crucial to note is the already incorporated notion of the blurring boundaries in the special design of the existing situation – the visual and partially physical connection between the block and the perpendicularly running Willem de Zweijgerlaan (a topic already partially discussed in the Stage 6). The distinct delineation of the public realm (the street), the semi-private realm (the neighbourhood), and what could be called private realm within the block (the internal garden) exist, however the thresholds delineating these realms are not sharply marked – such as blank walls or gates, or certainly not between the public and semi-private realms. As we can see from the below image, the transition (visual and physical) between public and private is gradual, which is very much within the concept of the ‘blurring boundaries’. However the limitation of this occurs when reaching the border between the semi-public and the private realms, as at the present the realms are separated by the heavy, and most crucially, permanently closed gate. As discussed before it not only prevents unwanted trespassing, but also prevents the inhabitants of the block from using the garden, as the gated entrance to the garden is the only direct access at present. It could be argued whether the complete opening up of the garden to the street would be beneficial to the neighbourhood, therefore the negotiation between the openness and closedness must be addressed.


such as rat infestation, due to neglect by the neighbourhood. The next stage will analyse the potentials, limitations and possibilities of the internal garden, addressing the issue of the present inability of the residents to use the garden and also the building plinth of the rear façade.

Img. 1. Gradual visual and prisical transition between realms.

CONCLUSION: In this part following patterns have been discussed: VISUAL CONNECTION OPENING TO THE STREET TAPESTRY OF LIGHT AND DARK GRADUAL TRANSITION BETWEEN REALMS Unlike in the previous stages of the research the positive patterns already exist in the design of the existing built environment. In contrast to the other part of the edifice, the notion of ‘blurring boundaries’ predominate within the given space, therefore only minor adjustments may be proposed in order to improve the conditions. However, one issue that prevents the space being successful, as discussed, remains the permanently closed gate at the entrance to the garden, which prevents the inhabitants of the block appropriating the vast space available behind it, resulting in the dead space causing problems, MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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STAGE 6 ( INTERNAL GARDEN) This section of the analysis overviews the internal garden of the block and rear building façade that faces these spaces. The first part of the section will analyse the plinth and the façade of the edifice, as the analysis of the building has been greatly discussed in the previous sections, this part will be a recap of the already discussed patterns with some additional observations. In the second part the attention will be drawn closely to the possibilities of appropriation of the garden. The appropriation of the garden is a tricky situation as it is challenged by the fact that, potentially, residents of the block may not want the additional noise pollution at the rear of the building – this issue was discussed at a meeting with the YMERE representatives. The housing corporation has conducted a meeting with the present residents of the block where some of the inhabitants expressed satisfaction with the current situation; ‘a pretty view from the window’.81 At the present the garden and the building belongs to YMERE, the company maintains it, therefore it is kept in an acceptable state. Potentially this implies that the rear façade and garden should remain an isolated, inaccessible view; however this section will challenge this notion, and will attempt to ‘open up’ the garden in order to invite the residents to take advantage of the aspect of the site that should be available to them. The current tendency is for cities to become more densely populated as they expand leaving green space at a premium, therefore, it is logical to state that the residents of Landlust are fortunate to have such space and should be compelled to take advantage of it.

Img. 1. Merkelbach, gated internal garden.

ACCESSIBLE GREEN ‘People need green open places to go to; when they are close they use them. But if the greens are more than three minutes away, the distance overwhelms the need. Parks are meant to satisfy this need. But parks, as they are usually understood, are rather large and widely spread through the city. Very few people live within three minutes of a park. This problem can only be solved if hundreds of small parks or greens-are scattered so widely’.82 - C. Alexander

Img. 2. Plan

Img. 3. Section

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CONNECTION TO THE EARTH ‘A house feels isolated from the nature around it, unless its floors are interleaved directly with the earth that is around the house….The inside and the outside are abruptly separate. There is no way of being partly inside, yet still connected to the outside; there is no way in which the inside of the house allows you, in your bare feet, to step out and feel the dew collecting or pick blossoms off a climbing plant because there is no surface near the house on which you can go out and yet still be the person that you are inside.’ 83– C. Alexander This quote illustrates the call for a reconnection with the earth- it may be idealised and somewhat naïve – however it captures the essence of this eternal need to be connected to the earth and its importance. It is possible as a city dwellers forget about this aspect of living and being a part of the world, therefore it is an interesting concept to (at least on a small scale) recreate this notion of connecting with nature. BUILDING EDGE As discussed in Stage 1 the building stands isolated from its surroundings, no connection exists between the building and the ground – the same applies to the rear façade. The ground floor is occupied by storage spaces, meaning not even the residents of the lower story have direct access to the garden (as can be seen from Img. 1). The recurring theme is visible – a sharp separation between public and private realms. Sceptics may consider that the notion of blurring boundaries, meaning opening up partially the home into the street, is not safe or private enough considering that the street is occasionally used by passers-by, however it has been discovered that a greater ability to appropriate external spaces not only encourages participation and interaction between neighbours, but additionally makes neighbourhoods safer therefore more pleasant environments to live. If the more publicly exposed areas of the building may be appropriated and further a sense of safety, the rear façade possesses a greater potential for appropriation, as the garden, if opened up to residents could still remain inaccessible for non-residents. Inevitably, not all households would have direct access to the ground floor (as it is a 4 story building), however at least the lower floors would have direct access. As previously discussed in chapter 2 (p.2), in turning the internal gardens into public

Img. 1. Section of rare facade/ building edge

(or municipal) ownership the intention was to combat neglect, in this case the proposal is not to separate the available ground space into privately owned gardens (which inevitably would become, bordered by fences or overplanted by shrubberies) - on the contrary, as been portrayed in the observation by the H. Hertzberger of the ‘Diagoon Dwellings’: MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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GIVE PEOPLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EXTERNAL SPACES ‘What could be done with the pavements in ‘living-streets’, if the inhabitants were to be given responsibility for the space, … The area in front of the dwellings has not been laid out as a front garden, it has simply been paved like on ordinary sidewalk, and hence as port of the public domain although, strictly speaking, it is not. Each resident uses the area in front of his house according to his own needs. If the layout had started out from the idea of separate, private areas, then no doubt everyone would have mode the best of it for his own benefit, but then there would have been on irreversibly abrupt division between private and public space, instead of the intermediary zone that has now evolved: a merging of the strictly private territory of the houses and the public area of the street. In this area in-between public and private, individual and collective claims can overlap, and resulting conflicts must be resolved in mutual agreement. It is here that every inhabitant plays the roles that express what sort of person he wants to be, and therefore how he wonts others to see him. Here, too, it is decided what individual and collective have to offer each other’.84 - H. Hertzberger … allowing individuals to appropriate their immediate surroundings does not necessarily lead to territoriality, through appropriate spatial design a balance can be achieved, where the private and public realm can exist in balance. As already mentioned even the lower floor buildings do not have a direct access to the ground therefore small additions to the existing balconies, such a stair, can be added in order for households on the lower floors to access the garden (image 2). The issue of neglect of private zones can be negotiated. For example, the management of the green spaces of Byker wall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is controlled to a slight extent by contracts tenants must sign. The contract stipulates that the resident hold responsibility not only for the interior of the properties but also the upkeep of the allocated garden space if applicable. If the residents are found in neglect of the external spaces they get an informal visit from the trust, if that does not work, professional gardeners/cleaners are invited and the tenant is presented with the bill.85 This leads us to another issue – how to encourage usage of, and provide access to, the garden for residents inhabiting the upper floors. This aspect has already been broadly discussed in the previous sections and is shown in the image 1, creating direct entrances to the garden from the communal stairway.

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Img.1. Rare facade, access to the garden

Patterns: OPEN TO THE STREET OPEN UP GARDEN By creating a regular opening into the garden via communal stairs and a visual connection from the street, greater interest in the appropriation can be stimulated. The access to the garden via stairs might not solve the issue of direct connection to the earth, however it comes as close as the given conditions allow (being a high rise building). Additionally, if the access is provided via the building the garden can remain partially closed on the short ends of the block in order to prevent trespassing, if that would be considered a prerequisite for the safe communal garden. However the individuals must have a reason to go to the garden, therefore the second part of this stage will discuss how the communal space – the garden – can be invigorated, so it becomes a destination for the residents.


Unlike the street façades, the rear façade (both facing northwards and southwards) have balconies, private external spaces are a great benefit to the dwellers and the neighbourhood – they enlarge living space within the dwelling if sized and positioned appropriately, additionally they enliven the building- LIVELY FAÇADE- if used. However, at the present the balconies that are provided in the dwellings, as observed, are generally used as additional storage space and rarely used as an extension of the dwelling, the two main reasons being; the dimensions of the balcony, and the location in relation to the internal spaces. The latter will be discussed in the following chapter- Interior. At present the balconies are L shaped, the depth of the balcony varies from 0.8m to 1.74m and therefore, the balcony cannot be used as a recreational space, as it is too narrow. The ideal minimum balcony depth is suggested to be approximately 1.8m - SIX FOOT BALCONY pattern. Therefore, in order to achieve this, the dimensions and the shape of the balconies must be altered. Additionally, communal spaces and resident interaction has been the main focus of this paper – it must be also noted that privacy is just as important. To maintain privacy the balconies have to be either recessed within the façade of the building or have additional screens, as the total exposure, such as open cantilevered structures would not be used either regardless of an increase in available space. The following images explore various possibilities in balcony adjustments. The possibility of enlarging the balcony on the rear façade should be applied only on the south facing façade -SOUTH FACE pattern – as the north facing façade will always be problematic due to minimal sunlight exposure.

Img. 1. L shape balconies at the present

Img. 2. Plan MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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GARDEN

Img. 3. Recessed balcony

Img. 6. Perspective, internal garden of Merkelbach block

Img. 4. Cantilevered balcony

Img. 5. Cantilevered balcony with screens

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In this part of the research the internal garden will be explored – its potential, possibilities and limitations. As already addressed numerous times, an extraordinarily large spaces has been reserved for greenery within the urban planning of Landlust. The perimeter of the block envelopes a large green space, an approximately 3555 m2, at present it is not used at all and acts only as a view for the residents. As a result the life of the block stops at the edge of the building creating a strong delineation between private lives (realm) and no-man’s-lands. Opening the garden would allow replacing ‘no-man’s-land’ with ‘common ground’.


COMMON GROUND ‘Without common land no social system can survive. In pre-industrial soc1et1es, common land between houses and between workshops existed automatically-so it was never necessary to make a point of it. …, and many buildings find themselves entirely isolated from the social fabric because they are not joined to one another by land they hold in common. The common land has two specific social functions. First, the land makes it possible for people to feel comfortable outside their buildings and their private territory, and therefore allows them to feel connected to the larger social system-though not necessarily to any specific neighbour. And second, common land acts as a meeting place for people.’ 86 - C. Alexander ‘Enclosure rather than object buildings can help create that sense of city comfort, which enables us to engage in what we are best suited- being sociable. Jan Gehl and Tim Stonor of Space Sintax both promote the primal experience of walking and stopping and meeting people, that makes up much of the context in which our public life is played out. …. Not only …these experiences have to reflect the cultural context in which they exist, but they also have to be connected or they become boring. ‘Permeability’ and ‘connectivity’ are the words we use for this aspect of linking experiences- and that link that bond should be enjoyable’ 87 – J. Rowland As seen can be traced from the quote above and has already been discovered from the analysis of Modernism Movement, buildings that stand as an autonomous object with no connection to the surroundings do not encourage activity around them, this leads us to the pattern that is already an integral part of the design of the existing block- the enclosure, or POSITIVE OUTDOOR SPACE.

Even though one of the key patterns already exists in the current situation, it is cancelled by the lack of ‘Permeability and ‘connectivity’. Two major reasons have been already discovered for the current situation; Firstly inaccessibility, which already was explored through the investigation of the façade. COURTYARDS WHICH LIVE ‘The courtyards built in modern buildings are very often dead. They are intended to be private open spaces for people to use-but they end up unused, full of gravel and abstract sculptures. There seem to be three distinct ways in which these courtyards fail. 1.There is too little ambiguity between indoors and outdoors. People need an ambiguous in-between realm-a porch, or a veranda, which they naturally pass onto often, as part of their ordinary life within the house, so that they can drift naturally to the outside. 2.There are not enough doors into the courtyard. If there is just one door, then the courtyard never lies between two activities inside the house; and so people are never passing through it, and enlivening it, while they go about their daily business. 3. They are too enclosed. Courtyards which are pleasant to be in always seem to have “loopholes” which allow you to see beyond them into some larger, further space.’89 - C. Allexander

Img. 1. Connecting building to the ground

‘Outdoor spaces which are merely ‘left over’ between buildings will, in general, not be used. An outdoor space is positive when it has a distinct and definite shape, as definite as the shape of a room, and when its shape is as important as the shapes of the buildings which surround it.’88 - C. Alexander Img. 2. Reconnecting garden to the street MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Secondly, a lack of destination or purpose (see: Learning from the city) people are drawn to places that have something to offer such as Haarlemmerdijk – streets that offers shopping, entertainment, socialising and so on. It cannot be expected that every street, every corner of the city will be as lively and bustling, and in this case it is even not intended. However, in the existing micro climate the activities can be promoted that will connect the building to its surroundings and as a result the inhabitants to each other – helping them ‘to do what they do best- being sociable’, instead of maintaining ‘dead’ spaces. Term ‘dead’ does not necessarily have to equal spaces otherwise thought of as ‘nice‘ and ‘quiet’ as this is generally welcomed in neighbourhoods, but rather refers to spaces being inhabited, instead of empty and dull. QUIET BACKS ‘Anyone who has to work in noise, in offices with people all around, needs to be able to pause and refresh himself with quiet in a more natural situation. To meet this need, we may conceive all buildings as having a front and a back. If the front is given over to the street life-cars, shopping paths, delivery-then the back can be reserved for quiet.’90 - C. Alexander ne of the possibilities of the courtyard is to become where residents (and perhaps passers-by) can escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and everyday life, this would require very little intervention to the space itself, it would remain a view but additionally a place to be in, stroll, rest, enjoy a leisurely sunny afternoon on a bench – being in touch with nature. The internal garden can become a small (semi) public square, however as it has been recognised the individuals as much as they like openness they appreciate partial enclosure with a view SMALL PUBLIC SQUARE ‘A town needs public squares; they are the largest, most public rooms that the town has. But when they are too large, they look and feel deserted. Time and again in modern cities, architects and planners build plazas that are too large. They look good on drawings; but in real life they end up desolate and dead.’91 -C. Alexander

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In the quote above, C. Alexander speaks of a public square in the city; however the same pattern can be applied to more secluded spaces such as a large internal garden. At the present the space is a large sprawl with a several shrubs and trees, not planned to create small pockets of space. Therefore to create a sense of openness and at the same time enclosure, informal divisions can landscape to space to increase usability. HIERARCHY OF OPEN SPACES ‘Outdoors, people always try to find a spot where they can have their backs protected, looking out toward some larger opening, beyond the space immediately in front of them. Essentially, it means that any place where people can feel comfortable has: 1. A back. 2. A view into a larger space.’92 - C. Alexander ACTIVITY POCKETS ‘The life of a public square forms naturally around its edge. If the edge fails, then the space never becomes lively. In more detail: people gravitate naturally toward the edge of public spaces. They do not linger out in the open. If the edge does not provide them with places where it is natural to linger, the space becomes a place to walk through, not a place to stop. It is therefore clear that a public square should be surrounded by pockets of activity.. .In effect, the edge must be scalloped.’ 93– C. Alexander In the latter quote, there is a concentration on the creating ‘pockets of activity’ on the edge of the square, this has been already addressed at the beginning of this stage, as it is a garden in the residential block, the scalloped pockets are created, by the households, and the appropriation of their immediate surroundings on the ground floor. However the same ‘scalloping’ can be created within the centre of the courtyard, as it does not have to hold large numbers of people at the same time, such as squares during public events. Additionally, as the garden is not expected to be used by a large number of people at the same, the space can be divided into smaller segments in order for small groups of people to feel comfortable if simultaneously using.


The divisions can be made using different patterns at the different scales as will be seen in the following text, however it must be noted, that the tools that must be used for the separation of the garden have to be ambiguous and sometimes overlapping and informal, otherwise total segregation may become inevitable – defeating the potential for accidental interaction.

SEPARATION BY THE SMALL PATTERNS: TREES ‘The trees that people love create special social places: places to be in, and pass through, places you can dream about, and places you can draw. Trees have the potential to create various kinds of social places: an umbrella-where a single, low-sprawling tree like an oak defines an outdoor room; a pair-where two trees form a gateway; a grove-where several trees cluster together; a square-where they enclose an open space; and an avenue where a double row of trees, their crowns touching, line a path or street. It is only when a tree’s potential to form places is realized that the real presence and meaning of the tree is felt. The trees that are being set down nowadays have nothing of this character-they are in tubs on parking lots and along streets, in specially ‘landscaped areas’.’94- C. Alexander As is the case right now within the internal garden, even though the landscaping in the internal garden is pleasant and well maintained, the way the flora is located does not flexible spaces – similarly with the building itself they are individual isolated objects in the sea of open space. Unquestionably, the present trees should be maintained as much as possible and augmented where appropriate; smaller trees and shrubs can act as soft separators of the vast space. However, it has to be noted that a limited amount and variation of (especially in height) trees and shrubs must consider how they affect the natural lighting of the garden – especially on the south side. GARDEN SEAT (BENCH) ‘Somewhere in every garden, there must be at least one spot, a quiet garden seat, in which a person-or two people-can reach into themselves and be in touch with nothing else but nature….(however) Where outdoor seats are set down without regard for view and climate, they will almost certainly be useless .’ 95- C. Alexander

Img. 1. Separating garden into smaller activity pockets, in order encourage the use by individuals and small groups

Therefore following characteristics should be kept in mind when placing a bench, otherwise they will be useless and act as a ‘decorative object’. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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1. 2. 3. 4.

Benches facing directly onto pedestrian activity. Benches open to the south for sun exposure during winter months. A wall on those sides where the winter wind is calmed. Trees for dappled shading during summer time.

Most of these characteristics are present in the location apart from the view, the views can be created within the garden itself, if the other activities can be integrated within the space, and it becomes alive. With the size of the space people are not forced to interact with each other, however as we discovered people enjoy seeing people, therefore even the passive interaction, watching, is sufficient to maintain the activity within the enclosed garden. A further option, as previously discussed is opening up the garden partially into the street which would maintain contact with the exterior of the block and the activity outside – enough to achieve usable bench space. SITTING WALL ‘In many places walls and fences between outdoor spaces are too high; but no boundary at all does injustice to the subtlety of the divisions between the spaces (if required).If there is a high wall or a hedge, then the people in the garden have no way of being connected to the street; the people in the street have no way of being connected to the garden. But if there is no barrier at all-then the division between the two is hard to maintain.’ 96- C.Alexander

Since people enjoy sitting in spaces with their backs towards something that protects, if the space is large only perimeter of the wall may be used, however another pattern can be used visually to reduce the large space and ‘protect their backs’, such as a fountain, or a sculpture with the seat. SOMETHING ROUGHLY IN THE MIDDLE ‘If the space is a tiny one, there is no need for anything beyond an edge. But if there is a reasonable area in the middle, intended for public use, it will be wasted unless there (is)…place where people can protect their backs, as easily as they can around the edge… Make it something which gives a strong and steady pulse to the square (space), drawing people in toward the centre. Leave it exactly where it falls between the paths;’97 - C.Alexander The patterns mentioned above only cover individual objects that can be used as a dividers of the space, in the following text the patterns that will be explored divide the space by functions, however as with the above patterns they do not necessarily need sharp separation and also act as a activity enhancer, attract people to come into the space and participate in communal or individual interests and hobbies. This directly acts on improving the chances and quality of social interaction within the community, creates bonds between people and makes the neighbourhood a happier and safer place to live. CONNECTED PLAY (CHILDREN)

In the internal garden the separation between the street and the garden is most likely not required however partial separation such as a sitting wall can define the spaces and create small activity alcoves for smaller groups, additionally it acts an extra seat, which can be well appropriated – especially by groups of children or act as a small picnic table for a couple. Therefore it creates a border which separates, but because it invites people to sit on it joins at the same time. It is possible that this pattern also could be used for the entrance of the garden; on the Ana van Burenstraat side, at the only present entrance to the garden, a large fence is installed creating a boundary between the two realms. The less harsh the separation, such as a sitting wall, or a low hedge can be the solution, however, it might be a problem considering that it might attract beggars, the homeless and vandalism, especially during the night.

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At the present the garden does not facilitate any activity and being ‘a pretty place to look at’ especially does not encourage children activity – children, as a rule, tend to create noise and will clutter a space with toys and other items. However, children need an outdoor space to play and meet peers, according to C. Alexander children need children more that they need adults in order to be become well rounded individuals. However as seen from the ‘Part 4 Landlust, neighbourhood of rigid boundaries’, only a small proportion of space in Landlust is allocated for child’s play and those are mainly on the street side, which can be dangerous due to the traffic. Therefore, having a zone within the internal garden, a safe zone, where children can meet their peers and interact whilst being supervised by parents and the community is important.


‘A typical suburban subdivision with private lots opening off streets almost confines children to their houses. Parents, afraid of traffic or of their neighbours, keep their small children indoors or in their own gardens: so the children never have enough chance meetings with other children of their own age to form the groups which are essential to a healthy emotional development. ‘98- C. Alexander Additionally, C.Alexander suggest that the non-rigid structured playgrounds for children, where they can create their own environments again and again, as suited, it is related to the notion of the appropriation of your own space. As adults feel more in contact with the space that they are able to change according to their needs, the same is true with children – through this play the child becomes more self-reliant and confident, in comparison to those that do not have access to peer interaction and the resultant source of creativity who tend to be less able navigate everyday social transactions later on in life. PUBLIC OUTDOOR ROOM Similarly to children adults also benefit from allocated outdoor space, preferably sheltered, where certain activities could take place at any given time. During Stage 2 of this journey, the proposal was to reuse the existing 1 story dwellings on Bestevaerstraat and create an outdoor room that can be used as a community gathering space. If the proposed option would be found unsuitable, the pattern can be adapted within the garden borders – a small or larger shelter can be placed which will act as a gathering space for small groups. Additionally, C. Alexander suggests that the provided shelter should be not completely finished, as similarly with homes, individuals feel a greater bond with their home when they are have more influence over their surroundings. It could be assumed that the same effect happens in consideration with community spaces, group of individuals influencing their shared facilities, not only to create a stronger bond between people and their environments, but also stronger bonds between people and people, as a result of shared activity and interests – appropriation. ‘When indoor community rooms are provided, they are rarely used. People don’t want to plunge into a situation which they don’t know; On the other hand, vacant land is not enclosed enough. It takes years for anything to

happen on vacant land; it provides too little shelter, and too little “reason to be there.” What is needed is a framework which is just enough defined so that people naturally tend to stop there; and so that curiosity naturally takes people there, and invites them to stay.’99 - C. Alexander The provision of a space only may not necessarily be enough for the start of this shared activity, therefore a starting point as a simple shelter would be preferable, which may in the future become the heart of the community or groups within it. Finally, last two patterns that can appropriated for the internal garden, which closely related to the pattern that have been discussed earlier ‘CONNECTION TO THE EARTH’. GREENHOUSE AND VEGETABLE GARDEN (ALLOTMENT) In recent years the interest in growing your own food has grown rapidly, presently only around 70 communal allotments exist within Amsterdam city bounds, mostly initiated by citizens, housing corporations and schools.100 From this it may be observed that city dwellers are interested in growing their own food, therefore the internal garden could be a great location for the new small gardener associations. ‘Many people who are born, raised, and live out their lives in cities simply do not know where the food they eat comes from or what a living garden is like. Their only connection with the productivity of the land comes from packaged tomatoes on the supermarket shelf.’ 101- C. Alexander The addition the allotment and greenhouse could also act as a community bonding space encouraging greater awareness of where food comes from, especially for younger generations. Not considering only social sustainability, but also environmental, the greenhouse is a great way to capture solar energy in order to grow plants and vegetable, as C. Alexander suggests, ideally the greenhouse could be attached to the dwelling itself, however in the case of Merkelbach block, it is virtually not possible, therefore the most sunny zones in the inner garden would be best for these two additions. Finally, considering the emotional aspect of gardening must be considered as a large number of people find it both relaxing and rewarding. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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CONCLUSION: In this part following patterns have been discovered: ACCESSIBLE GREEN CONNECTION TO THE EARTH BUILDING EDGE GIVE PEOPLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE EXTERNAL SPACES OPEN TO THE STREET LIVELY FAร‡ADE COMMON GROUND POSITIVE OUTDOOR SPACE COURTYARD WHICH LIVE QUIET BACK SMALL PUBLIC SQUARE HIERARCHY OF OPEN SPACES ACTIVITY POCKETS TREES GARDEN SEAT SITTING WALL SOMETHING ROUGHLY IN THE MIDDLE CONNECTED PLAY CHILDREN PUBLIC OUTDOOR ROOM GREENHOUSE VEGETABLE GARDEN (ALLOTMENT)

Img. 1. The inner garden has a potential facilitate numerous activities

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In the first part of the stage it was discovered the possibilities of opening up the rear faรงade of the edifice to the garden, so the residents could not only enjoy the garden, but also be able to appropriate it as suited. The appropriation could lead to the greater care of their surroundings. In the second part of the stage it was discovered that the garden in its present state does not allow great appropriation, as the buildings are set apart from the garden and the garden is completely inaccessible, however for the design and development of the area it has great potential and possibilities, for this reason a large number of patterns were explored. Even though the scope of the possibilities is large, it is important keep in mind that the not all of the patterns may


be applied, as to do so might be overwhelming and if too successful may lead to noise pollution and the loss of tranquillity, which is also key to the inhabitants satisfaction. Most importantly, the proposed patterns should be incorporated in a way that they become suggestions, rather than finished formal prescriptions, to encourage residents to expand their sphere in the communal area – the garden. Inhabitants would have more reason to descend to the garden, and make it their own if the initial suggestions would be there, otherwise, as it is now it is rather difficult for individuals, especially single voices to start something from scratch. Giving individuals the opportunity to be responsible for their environments the chance to express themselves, and it might lead to a stronger sense of community, empowered individuals and a safer neighbourhood. Appropriate of their private external spaces such as balconies can also be encourages with some modification – this way people not only feel at home behind the closed doors of their private dwelling, but also outside – merging private and public (in the scale of the neighbourhood) realms, blurring the boundaries.

Conclusion for the Part 4 In this part of the research ‘Journey around the block’ it was recognised the potentials and possibilities of the exterior of the housing block Merkelbach, it was explored via a wide range of patterns that could be applied to the existing situation in order to ‘open up’ the building into its surroundings, for the better living environment for the inhabitants. The target of the research was to recognise the potentials and find how to expand inhabitants’ possibilities of control not only within the individual dwellings but also outside. As it been emphasised on several occasions, when individuals are able to expand their zone of control outside their front door, they will integrate better into the communities and create strong bonds with neighbours and neighbourhood and foster a greater respect and sense of care for their surroundings. Finally, and most importantly, it has been recognised that over determination of the built environment, does not encourage appropriation of the space, rather the opposite, the built environment should act as a special suggestion, where the individual is able to impart his/her own individuality in order to feel ‘at home’ rather than ‘in the house’. It has be noticed that architects and architecture students as a rule consider personalisation as a negative aspect, therefore this research additionally challenges the concept of whether architecture is only a

beautiful picture or also a place and space where people inhabit. ‘I fell in love with what I call … urban messiness’102- James Rojas A city, a neighbourhood, a communal housing – is a collage of a various individuals, various backgrounds, tastes, ages and beliefs, it is also a collage of different times, no city or a neighbourhood can function properly without past present and future. Therefore considering that the Merkelbach housing block is a municipal monument it is key to maintain certain aspects of the original building; so much as it possible to not lose any of its key values. As previously discussed the attitude of this proposal is that the key values are intangible, however it does not mean that physical body of the building cannot be maintained, the ‘history’ is made up of layers of time, periods and styles – it is a tapestry of evolution103 , therefore it has to be accepted that some of our built environment has to change or adapt to the present and future needs and requirements. Individual cannot be stuffed into ‘beautiful’ pigeon holes, just because they carry certain historical values, unless there is an intention to have a dwelling that are no longer inhabitable, therefore becoming a sort of museum. Do we really need a museum, or do we need a house and a comfortable home for the present and future inhabitants? Finally, it has to be noted, that the patterns that have been discussed are not design solutions, but rather speculations, a type of toolkit that can help in finding solutions for the proposal of the redevelopment of the Merkelbach building.

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Part 5. Interior As the previous chapter concentrated on the exterior spaces of the block, with some small tangents into the interior, this chapter will overview the present situation and the possibilities and potentials of the interior. The starting point will be the same entry door into the communal stairway as the previous chapter (see image 1.). This part of the research will use the analysis technique of the Vignettes with the help of the patterns, it cannot be expected that the same level of porosity or blurring boundaries can be carried out on the interior, however where appropriate they will be unfiltered so far as is possible. The specific entrance and the dwelling for the analysis have been chosen at random, the reason being:

firstly that all the entrances in the communal stairway are virtually identical and secondly, the scope of this research does not allow a focussed consideration of every individual dwelling. The analysis of the chosen dwelling will be considered as a blueprint for all other dwellings – the dwellings do not vary that much in overall layout; except of the overall size and the number of bedrooms. Therefore the chosen apartment is a 2 bedroom household with the overall 43.1m2 floor plan. However, prior the journey beginning it is important to reiterate the already discussed the notion of the ability of the residents to adapt their environments according to their needs when afforded some flexibility; the external spaces of the buildings are often neglected and not appropriated by the residents due to the rigidity and lack of the special possibilities, exactly the same applies to the dwellings behind closed doors. ‘People cannot be genuinely comfortable and healthy in a house which is not theirs…. it is very clear that all those processes which encourage speculation in land, for the sake of profit, are unhealthy and destructive, because they invite people to treat houses as commodities, to build things for “resale,” and not in such a way as to fit their own needs. .. Even modified forms of rental can help the situation if they allow people to change their houses according to their needs and give people some financial stake in the process of maintenance. …give people the legal power, and the physical opportunity to modify and repair their own places.’ 104 - C. Alexander

Img. 1. Typical Entry door into typical stairway entry door into communal the communal stairway

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It is not an architectural agenda, nonetheless it is important to understand that if the individual does not have any significant influence over his/hers environment, it will have a difficulty ever to become a home instead of a house, no matter how ‘beautiful’ or ‘ergonomic’ the house is.


STAGE 1, COMMUNAL STAIRWAY The pattern ‘MAIN ENTRANCE’ has been discussed in part 4, however it is important to recap that the entrance is flush to the façade with no entrance porch or even small shelter, a problematic design as the sheltering can provide a short escape on the rainy day and also the abrupt transition between the street and the interior is lessened. From there the journey will divide into two stages; beginning with the internal communal stairway of the block and then carrying on to the upper floors, approaching the entrance of the dwelling – Stage 1. Stage 2 will analyse the interior of the dwelling itself, where the following aspects will overviewed; hall, living space bedrooms and bathroom. At present on entrance to the communal stairway the individual is faced with staircases, a minimal amount of space is allowed for movement, and as a result the individual is drawn directly into the upper floors, interaction between residents within the internal communal spaces is discouraged by the cramped space. Additionally a dual intertwining staircase further reduces the possibility of interaction as one staircase leads to the first and third floor, whilst the other services the second and fourth floors. The staircases are divided by a semi-transparent glass partition, therefore neighbours of the various floors only meet on the ground floor landing (see image 1 and 2, following page).

Img. 1. Axonometric view into the section of the stairway and the dwelling

Img. 2. Perspective view of the ground floor landing MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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From this can be seen that within the building there is no communal space where neighbours could comfortably meet and interact. It will be seen later on in the process of the design, whether it will be possible to preserve this type of stair whilst still achieving the anticipated outcome of open, bright and social communal hall/room.

Img. 2. Diagram of two intertwining staircases

COMMUNAL AREA AT HEART ‘No social group-whether a family, a work group, or a school group-can survive without constant informal contact among its members. The only balanced situation is the one where a common path, which people use every day, runs tangent to the common areas and is open to them in passing.’ 105 – C. Alexander Therefore it should be considered whether it would be possible for the existing stairway, instead of being just a transitional space, to become a space where neighbours meet and interact, not simply a functional space enabling them to access their own private realm. Img. 1. Axonometric view of the two intertwining staircases

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‘The communal staircases were placed in a fully-lit situation rather than in the more usual residual, generally dimly-lit space. In a multi-family house the emphasis should not lie exclusively on the architectural provisions to prevent excess noise and inconvenience from neighbours; special attention must be paid in particular to the spatial disposition, which may be conducive to the social contacts that may be expected to exist between the various occupants of a building. … give the staircases more prominence than usual. Communal staircases should not only be a source of aggravation where accumulation of dirt and cleaning are concerned - they should also serve, for instance, as a playground for the small children of neighbouring families.’ 106- H. Hertzberger In this quote H. Hertzberger highlights the importance of having a sufficient amount of space and daylight within the stairway, in order that it not only become a functional ‘in and out’ space which can cause aggravation, but also a space that could become – to some extent – an extension of the inhabitants’ homes. As previously discussed there are various opportunities to provide perfectly suitable spaces for residence to meet up at the exterior of the buildings, however in moderate climate countries, such as the Netherlands it is difficult to expect individuals to appropriate spaces all year around. Therefore with no provision of internal, appropriate, spaces the contact cannot be maintained. In contrast to the present layout, the landings, if large enough, can become communal rooms. This can be implemented by extending the hallway through the rear façade (this overlaps with the analysis ENTRANCE HALL, and pattern OPEN UP A GARDEN. This way the hall way could be lit on two sides and become a pleasant environment to be in. Additionally, to give a greater visual connection between the floors the floor slabs could be opened up in areas as visualised in image 1. ENTRANCE ROOM ‘Arriving in a building, or leaving it, you need a room to pass through, both inside the building (household) and outside it. This is the entrance room. The most impressionistic and intuitive way to describe the need for the entrance room is to say that the time of arriving, or leaving, seems to swell with respect to the minutes which precede and follow it, and that in order to be congruent with the importance of the moment, the space too must follow suit and swell with respect to the immediate inside and the immediate outside of the building.’ 107 - C. A.

Img. 1. Extending hallway to the rare facade

At present as well as in the external entrance, the transition is abrupt, the small landing on the stair leads to the dwelling (the internal entrance room will be explored at a later stage). In this case to reduce abruptness between the public and private spheres H.Hertzberger suggest installing a secondary glass door ‘with a small hallway in between, this way the smoother transition can be obtained, additionally, dwellers can choose which door becomes the main door, this way there is an easier way incorporate the hallway as an extension of the dwelling. Furthermore if the hallway is large enough the external wall of the dwelling in the hallway can become an entry room, and appropriated, similarly to the already discussed appropriation of the external outdoor spaces, buy placing a bench, maybe rack for shoes and plants. This way the private life gradually bleeds out into the communal areas, given that adequate space is provided the individual additions to the areas should not prove to be an annoyance to the neighbours. Also both H. Hertzberger and C.Alexander emphasize the importance of installing a window next to the doorway. The former the importance of the being able to overlook your possessions without leaving home, not for safety reasons, but rather for the emotional connection, while the latter emphasises the need for individuals to be able to see incoming guests prior the actual meeting. The importance of this addition could be questionable, however it could be another step in making a greater connection between two spheres and the greater possibility of making a hallway a truly communal space, rather than the no-man’s-land as it is at the present. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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STAGE 2, THE DWELLING Prior to advancing to the following patterns it is key to understand the layout configuration of the existing dwelling, as mentioned before, the chosen apartment is a small family dwelling with two bedrooms, separate living room, kitchen, shower room and the lavatory. As can be seen in the image 1. (next page), the load bearing walls surrounds the existing flat on all sides and the walls that create perimeters of the separate spaces are partitions, therefore it is possible to reconfigure the layout of the dwelling easily without effecting the structural soundness (plumbing and utilities not taken in consideration).

Img. 2. Perspective of the entry door to the household

In the previous stage the semi-private realm within the building has been analysed – the communal hallway, it has been outlined that there could be a possibility to have an additional blurring of the boundaries between semi-private and the private realms at the front doors of the dwellings, however it is important also to recognise that privacy is a key to inhabitation, therefore the border between the dwelling and the communal spaces should act as, what R. Sennett compared to the cell membrane - ‘the membrane does not function as an open door; a cell membrane is both porous and resistant at the same time, holding in some valuable elements, letting other valuables flow through the membrane.’ 108 Therefore, it is important to keep the entrance as accessible and open as possible, whilst maintaining the privacy of the house. ENTRANCE ROOM (INTERIOR) ‘At the main entrance to a building, make a light-filled room which marks the entrance and straddles the boundary between indoors and outdoors, covering some space outdoors and some space indoors. The outside part may be like an old-fashioned porch; the inside like a hall or sitting room.’ 109- C. Alexander

Img. 3. Present situation, abrupt transition between stairway and the household Img. 4. Adding seond door into the household and the window- the spheres merge

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People pursue privacy inside of their homes, therefore it is important to keep the internal hallway if not secluded, at least partially obstructed from the rest of the household, in a way that any incoming person standing in the entrance cannot see the rest of the household. Therefore, it could be considered that the configuration of the present hall fulfils this pattern, as on entrance no other rooms are within sight. However, as can be seen from the images 2-3 the hall stretches virtually throughout the full length with a width of only


0.8 meter, thus there is no space for movement. Therefore the guest is drawn further into the house. The hall is not a room it is a transitional space and does not allow any activities other than moving through. As seen previously the entry room, both on the outside and the inside, is an important transition between the private and (semi-)public realms, therefore it could be argued whether this configuration of the narrow passageway within the dwelling is able to fulfil the requirements of the entry room. Even not taking into the consideration the transition or the privacy, it simply does not allow any activity – disrobing from exterior clothes or coming into the household with prams and other clutter, such as children toys, shopping bags can prove tricky. COATS, SHOES, CHILDREN’S BIKES (ENTRANCE ROOM) ‘People need a five foot diameter of clear space to take off their coats. .. Therefore, give the entrance room a dead corner for storage, put coat pegs in a position which can be seen from the front door, and make an area five feet (1.5m) in diameter next to the pegs.’110- C. Alexander The apartment in consideration is a very small dwelling of 43.1m2, thus the provision of 1.5m diameter space only for coats could seem excessive, therefore as can be seen in the image 1 (next page), if possible, reorganise the layout of the hallway, instead of long narrow corridor crate a small room of similar dimensions, but with the layout being changed into a more or less square shape, there will be greater space to move within it. The space becomes a small ‘accommodation’- the transition between adjoining worlds.111 Additionally, as the hall located currently located in the centre of the dwelling there is no daylight access to the space unless doors into adjacent rooms are opened.

Img. 1. Layout of the dwelling MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Furthermore, as will be seen in the further text and shown in the diagram (image 3), by reconfiguring layout of the hall, the circulation improves. Presently it is a narrow dark passageway and due to the relatively large number of adjacent spaces it must be frequently used, and if multiple people traverse this space simultaneously it may prove to be unpleasant. Therefore, reducing the need to move through the space as often and changing the layout of the room the space becomes part of the overall layout of the dwelling rather than a functional transitional passageway and can now be used not only for passing, but also as a space for other small activities.

Img. 1. Hall, present situation

Img. 2. Hall, suggested configuration

THE FLOW THROUGH ROOMS ‘The movement between rooms, the circulation space, may be generous or mean. In a building where the movement is mean, the passages are dark and narrow-rooms open off them as dead ends; you spend your time entering the building, or moving between rooms, like a crab scuttling in the dark. .. It not only separates rooms from one another to such an extent that it is an ordeal to move from room to room, but kills the joy of time spent between rooms and may discourage movement altogether.’ 112 - C. Alexander 74

Img. 3. Movement throughout the hallway


As mentioned before the hall is an enclosed space in the middle of the apartment, with no access to the daylight, this can be improved by partially opening up the hall into an adjacent, less private room, such as living room. HALF OPEN WALL ‘Adjust the walls, openings, and windows in each indoor space until you reach the right balance between open, flowing space and closed cell-like space. Do not take it for granted that each space is a room; nor, on the other hand, that all spaces must flow into each other. The right balance will always lie between these extremes: no one room entirely enclosed; and no space totally connected to another. Use combinations of columns, half-open walls, porches, indoor windows, sliding doors, low sills, French doors, sitting walls, and so on, to hit the right balance.’ 113- C. Alexander By partially opening the hallway into the living room not only is the daylight access improved, but it creates greater connection between the rooms. It could be argued that by opening up the living room, a contradiction of the pattern discussed previously ‘entrance room’ (and necessity of privacy) is created, however placing a partially open wall between the two spaces will keep the distance between the entry door and the living room and partially obstruct the view, therefore privacy can still be maintained.

Img. 2. Open plan living space

LIVING ROOM/ KITCHEN

Img. 1. Connecting hallway to the less private living spaces

In this section of the analysis both the kitchen and the living space will be discussed, the reason being that at present, the living room and the kitchen are located separately, which in itself is not a negative aspect of the household layout. The living room is a generous size 17m2,however the kitchen is only 5.8m2, a purely functional space, and perhaps not sufficient for today’s requirements. Perhaps if the household would be intended for one person it may be large enough, however cooking is not necessarily is a solitary activity therefore the kitchen should be reconsidered and increased in size to provide a space for more than a one individual especially in the household of the multiple inhabitants. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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operation; several things must go on at once, and this calls for the simultaneous use of counter space for different projects. If there isn’t enough counter space, then the ingredients and utensils for one thing must be moved, washed, or put away before the next thing can be prepared; or else things become so jumbled that extra time and effort must be taken to find what’s needed at the proper moment.’115 - C. Alexander OPEN PLAN

Img. 1. Current situation

Img. 2. Proposed open living space

FARMHOUSE KITCHEN ‘The isolated kitchen, separate from the family and considered as an efficient but unpleasant factory for food is a hangover from the days of servants; and from the more recent days when women willingly took over the servants’ role.’ 114 - C. Alexander ‘Efficiency kitchens never live up to their name. They are based on the notion that the best arrangement is one that saves the most steps; and this has led to tiny, compact kitchens. These compact layouts do save steps, but they usually don’t have enough counter space. Preparing dinner for a family is a complex

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C. Alexander suggest that every household should have a large kitchen with generous working surfaces and space for a dining table where all the family could gather together – the kitchen becomes a second living room, where multiple activities can take place at the same time. However in the current situation this idealised situation might be not possible without increasing floor space of the household or omitting one of the bedrooms. In this case it will be attempted to keep the overall dimensions of the flat the same as well as the number of bedrooms, therefore compromises have to be found. In this example it is suggested to merge the kitchen with the living room, by maintaining the kitchen in the same location and flipping the layout of the flat. Presently the kitchen and two bedrooms face southwards and the living room northwards; by moving the living room adjacent to the kitchen creating an open layout kitchen/living room can be achieved. In this manner one of the walls can be removed that used to separate the kitchen from the bedroom – slightly increasing the usable space in the household. Even though the living space is reduced it can still contain the same functions. A partial separation of the kitchen and the living room can be achieved by placing an island counter between the functions. ’This does create a circumstance where the people who are cooking are in touch with the rest of the family.’ 116 EXTERNAL LIVING SPACE Furthermore, by moving the family room and the kitchen to the south facing façade the possibility arises to extend the living space into the exterior during the warmer seasons, as the balconies are located on the south side. At present the balconies are hardly used due to the already discussed dimensions and also the location may only be accessed via the kitchen and one bedroom. As can be seen from Image 1 (previous page) the living room not only extends


partially in to the hallway but also into the balcony, making it a more flexible space, this way several activities can take place at the same time by different people without disturbing one another, and whilst simultaneously being together. ‘No homogeneous room,… , can serve a group of people well. To give a group a chance to be together, as a group, a room must also give them the chance to be alone, in one’s and two’s in the same space. .. Books left on the dining table get cleared away at meal times; a half-finished game cannot be left standing. Naturally, people get into the habit of doing these things somewhere elseaway from the family.’117 - C. Alexander The flexible space would mean non-permanent divisions of the room into sections so that individuals could work and leave their activities for completion later without the necessity to clear it away, otherwise individuals will spread out into the separate rooms, thereby discouraging communal living within the dwelling.

Img. 1.Open Plan living space, by separating different functions within one space will give a greater possibility for inhabitants participate in individual activities without being disturbed, but at the same time occupy one space.

If the space is large enough, it could be appropriate to investigate another pattern: ALCOVE/ SEAT BY THE WINDOW ‘Make small places at the edge of any common room, usually no more than 6 feet wide and 3 to 6 feet deep and possibly much smaller. These alcoves should be large enough for two people to sit, chat, or play and sometimes large enough to contain a desk or a table.’ 118- C. Alexander These little niches or alcoves could also increase the possibility for the family member to be together in the same larger space, but have their own corner and be undisturbed. As discussed in part 6, people like to sit with their back rested to the edge and have a view. The living room can be seen as a public square – just on a smaller scale, the same principles apply. If there is no reason for individuals to be there, they will not turn up, and if the space is too big people will not necessarily feel comfortable. Provide smaller and larger spaces in an open living room, without abrupt separation - blurring the boundaries between activities, but giving individuals small alcoves for personal activities.

Img. 2. Alcove/ seat by the window MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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BEDROOMS As outlined previously, the household is intended to be occupied by a small family; a couple with one child, therefore it is crucial that both a couple and the child have their own territory – a space that they can consider their own. Similarly to adults, a child needs to have a space that he/she can appropriate at will. At the same time a couple, has to have an escape space from the everyday routine. The current layout situates the two bedrooms adjacent to each other, with means that the COUPLE’S REALM and the CHILD’S REALM are merged, even though they have their own rooms the realms overlap, resulting in neither having their own desired territory. With the present situation there exists a two part household – one part sleeping and one part living. The potential is to create a household with a separate child’s territory, parents’ territory and a communal space. 119 By moving one bedroom to the other side of the dwelling the problem of the overlapping zones and the privacy issue can be solved. Additionally, by relocating one bedroom to the other side of the living room – the rooms can be increased in size marginally. ‘When children come, concern for parenthood often overwhelms the private sharing, and everything becomes exclusively oriented toward the children. In most houses this is aggravated by the physical design of the environment. Specifically: 1. Children are able to run everywhere in the house, and therefore tend to dominate all of it. No rooms are private. 2. The bathroom is often placed so that adults must walk past children’s bedrooms to reach it. 3. The walls of the master bedroom are usually too thin to afford much acoustical privacy Make a special part of the house distinct from the common areas and all the children’s rooms, where the man and woman of the house can be together in private. Give this place a quick path to the children’s rooms, but, at all costs, make it a distinctly separate realm.’ 120- C. Alexander The children’s world must also be looked upon as territory that they share, as children here, it is important to establish that this is a part of the house, in balance with the others. Again, the critical feature is not that adults are ‘excluded’ but that, when they are in this world, they are in children’s territory. 121

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Separating bedrooms into different corners of the household can also provide the potential for the dwelling to be used not only by what could be called a traditional household (family) but also as a shared accommodation for young individuals as the privacy issue is negated to some extent.

Img. 3. Current situation

Img. 4. Proposed separation of the bedrooms

Img. 5. Dividing child’s and couple’s realms, diagram


BATHING ROOM At present the bathroom and the shower room are separated and as with the kitchen are simple functional spaces, according to C. Alexander, the bathroom should be one of these rooms in the household where individuals can not only proceed with routine washing, but the bathroom should be a place of relaxation and unwinding. Interestingly he also emphasizes the importance of communal washing, and draws attention to the Roman baths and Finnish saunas, this aspect of the argument will be considered only partially, as it isn’t the norm to bathe together in the Netherlands. However, it could be considered, whether several individuals could use the space at the same time. ‘Concentrate the bathing room, toilets, showers, and basins of the house in a single tiled area. Locate this bathing room beside the couple’s realm-with private access-in a position half-way between the private secluded parts of the house and the common areas;’122 - C. Alexander Following aspects of the bathroom location and layout could be considered: - Having a bathroom and toilet together saves individuals from changing into clothes during activities. - Without separating lavatory and the bathroom in two rooms – more usable floor space can be achieved - Placing bathroom conveniently next to the private rooms, but also not too far from the entry room (ideally somewhere in between), so the household members and the visitors can access the bathroom quickly, without crossing each other’s paths

Img. 1. Accessibility to the bathroom

Img. 2. Present situation: shower room and lavatory

Img. 3. Proposed, combining bathroom with the lavatory.

Following these considerations, the shower room and the lavatory could be combined into one, the location chosen in this case was for the convenience, as it is in the centre of the household, and can be reached from any given room directly: closest to the master bedroom, but also can directly be accessed from the front door. Ideally the bathroom would be placed at the edge of the building, providing better ventilation (through windows) however due to the restricted dimensions of the apartment the façade cannot be sacrificed. Additionally, potentially the bathroom should not be directly facing the entry door, but rather be close to it, a solution will be found later on throughout the process of the design, to improve the convenience for household members and guests. MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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CONCLUSION: In this chapter following patterns have been discussed: MAIN ENTRANCE COMMUNAL AREA AT HEART SECOND TRANSPARENT DOOR WINDOW NEXT TO THE ENTRANCE ENTRY ROOM (EXTERNAL) ENTRY ROOM (INTERNAL) COATS, SHOES, CHILDREN’S BIKES (ENTRANCE ROOM) THE FLOW THROUGH ROOMS HALF OPEN WALL FARMHOUSE KITCHEN OPEN PLAN EXTERNAL LIVING SPACE ALCOVE/ SEAT BY THE WINDOW COUPLE’S REALM CHILD’S REALM BATHING ROOM The first four patterns discussed an aspect of the internal communal spaces within the building, it has emphasised the importance of providing immediate neighbours with a communal room, which can be used throughout the year, especially during the cold seasons, so the inhabitants would be able interact with immediate neighbours without leaving the dwelling and not having to invite them into their private homes. Additionally providing spacious zones in front of the individual households allows individuals to expand their territories outside of the private dwelling, by personalising them, without creating disturbance for the neighbours. This can consequently act as a hybrid zone between the semi public and private spheres, this way individuals will have a greater motivation to look after the communal spaces, instead of being no-man’s–land which no one cares for, as is typical to communal gloomy and tight stairways.

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With the help of the latter patterns the possibilities of improving the layout of the small family dwelling has been analysed. It has been discovered that due to the existing layout the functions are segregated into individual boxes, even though the space dedicated for the living room is rather generous, however other spaces lack either space or daylight. It was established that due to the loadbearing walls being only on the perimeter of the household, the overall layout could be easily adjusted without effecting the structural qualities. As already noted, the target of this part of the analysis was not try to completely open up the household as it is important for the individuals that share the apartment to retain their privacy, however the possibility of combining communal activities, such as eating, cooking, playing and so on has been achieved; whilst acknowledging the notion, that even though members of family enjoy spending more time together, they should also be able to have their own areas where they are not disturbed. The proposed layout should not be considered as a design proposal, but rather some of the patterns could become a blueprint for the later development of the actual proposal. If the household will prove to be too small even after the adjustments, it could be assumed that without great effect on the structural capabilities of the edifice the present apartments could be combined, either vertically or horizontally.

Img. 4. Combining apartments vertically or horizontally


CHAPTER 4. CONCLUSION This paper set out to find patterns that would help to invigorate and give a new lease of life to the existing site of Landlust and in particular the Merkelbach housing block. From the initial observations of the site it was discovered that the major setback of the neighbourhood is the disconnection between the buildings and its surroundings, resulting in empty streets, a lack of sense of community and to some extent neglect. Through extensive reading of architectural and social theorist work, such as R. Sennett, Jacobs, A.B. Jacobs, C. Alexander and others, whose work focuses on social ties in cities, and the effects of urban living on individuals in the modern world, it was discovered that the city, town or the neighbourhood can be become self-sufficient, dynamic, safe and have a chance for posterity, if only certain conditions are in place. Such as, fluidity between private and public spheres, transparency, integration and diversity. ‘Responding to social values and objectives of urban life such as comfort, identity and control, access to opportunity, imagination and joy, authenticity and meaning, community and public life, and urban self-reliance, we called, in rather general terms, for six physical qualities: livability; a minimum density; an integration of uses; building that defined spaces rather than being set in space; many rather than few buildings; and public streets.’ 123- A.B. Jacobs Taking these recommendations into account, empirical evidence was gathered. In the initial stage of the research the journey through the city of Amsterdam was conducted, which helped to identify the areas of the city that associate with the above mentioned conditions, and it was discovered that the sections of the city that expose these conditions or patterns are more successfully appropriated by the city dwellers. Following the patterns that have been identified (transparency plinth, diversity, life in and between buildings and the balance between cars and pedestrians) the analysis of the Merkelbach housing block was conducted. The methods that were used in the analysis was based on the technique used by C. Alexander in his book ‘A Pattern language’.

‘We must first define some physical feature of the place, which seems worth abstracting. Next, we must define the problem, or the field of forces which this pattern brings into balance. We see, in summary, that every pattern we define must be formulated in the form of a rule which establishes a relationship between a context, a system of forces which arises in that context, and a configuration which allows these forces to resolve themselves in that context. It has the following generic form: CONTEXT – SYSTEM OF FORCES – CONFIGURATION’124- C. Alexander Following this form with the aid of Vignettes the analysis was conducted. The first part of the Merkelbach building was analysed mainly concentrating on the exterior of the edifice and its plinth, (also inevitably referring to the interior, as it is a target of the document), to open up the building into the street. It has been concluded that in order to implement the notion of porosity and fluidity certain augmentation and interventions have to take place. The second part of the analysis primarily concentrated on the internal spaces of the edifice and identified patterns that could improve spatial configuration within internal communal spaces (stairway); transition between the private (individual dwelling) and semi-private zones (internal hall); finally the dwelling, where the main target was to find a balance between enclosure and openness in order to facilitate both the ability to be together and apart when needed – a preservation of flexibility. So far, the analysis concentrated on the potential and limitations of the site without referencing the fact that the Merkelbach block is a subject of cultural and historical value, therefore to conclude the analysis some of the primary patterns will be compared with conditions of the edifice that are considered an essence of the original design. As concluded in the cultural and historical evaluation, the overall body of the Landlust neighbourhood presents a coherent unity that represents a turning point in the typology of the Amsterdam residential block – the semi-open row housing units, therefore the proposal for intervention intends to limit drastic changes to the overall perimeter of the layout, however some alterations are inevitable.

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FAÇADE: 1. Monotonous uninterrupted facades of 170m along the streets provides deep shading on the north sides preventing sun penetration, resulting in dead spaces, as well as a lack of the visual connection to the internal garden and no direct access to it. Solution: Frequent transparent interventions that go all the way through the building, but still maintain the same width of the building – these interventions form the entrances of the buildings whilst providing access to the garden, breaking the monotony, providing visual complexity and allowing sunlight into the northwards facing streets. Also additional small balconies or extrusions on the upper floors could provide complexity to the façade, reducing monotony and adding some individuality to the dwellings. 2. Due to the raised ground floor the appropriation of the street is limited directly from the household Solution: Small balconies with a stair could provide individuals (on the ground floor) with a possibility to expand their zone of control onto the street, creating hybrid zones and thus enliven the area, the intervention should not affect the existing body of the building as there is no need to break through walls since the existing window opening go all the way from floor to ceiling. Especially appropriate to the south facing facades.

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as a second skin, providing a shelter along the full façade and creating a hybrid zone between the street and the original façade as the space is neither fully street, nor truly private dwelling. Could to be appropriated even during the colder seasons of the year. Function 1. Presently it is exclusively a residential dwelling with 2x4 story parallel wings along the Juliana van Stolbergstraat and the Luise de Colignystraat and a one story wing on the Bestervaerstraat originally designed for housing elderly citizens and currently not in use shop facilities The possibility of incorporating small non-residential properties could add diversity to the block, allowing small businesses run by the neighbourhood or external participants – improving active use of the neighbourhood. However as discussed before possibilities to have a direct access to the ground floor are limited due to the sunken ground floor on the parallel wings of the edifice, which can prove limiting for the possibility having a shop window on the street level. The alternative considered involves situating the proposed businesses on the frontside facing of the busier Bestevearstrrat – more practically achievable as this area does not have a raised plinth and is adjacent to the rest of the block, additionally the small degree of separation would minimise any potential for noise pollution. Less damage would be wrought on the main body of the façade as the only intervention would involve increasing the openings of the fenestration on only one part. Street/cars

3. Transition between street and the entrance doors abrupt, as the entrances are flush to the façade. No ambiguous zone between exterior and interior.

1. Currently the local streets and car parking lots are parallel to the façade resulting in a visual domination of the cars even though the allocated space for traffic and the parking lots is minimal. Especially proving a limitation on the Juliana van Stolbergstraat.

Solution Investigate the possibility of recessing the entrance door in order to provide shelter, or add an additional porch-like structure in order to provide a smoother transition between street life and home. Alternately the option of a second lightweight structure could be applied to the full height of the façade – acting

Possibility of partially eliminating traffic in the core of the neighbourhood seems achievable; creating small islands of car parking spaces would eradicate the problem of the domination and provide a greater area for pavement that can be used as a public space for the neighbourhood and children to play without undermining the overall urban plan of the neighbourhood.


GARDEN 1. In the initial design of the housing block great importance was placed on integration of the landscape125 , it is understood that the integration of the large courtyard garden within the housing block fall short of its optimal function (although it remains intact and unchanged from its initial creation), the limitations lie in the lack of direct accessibility, which resulted in a total absence of usage at present. As can be seen from the historic picture (see image Appendix 1)) the garden was formerly used as a playground for the children, and so presumably by the supervising adults. It could be speculated that the societal norms have changed resulting in neglect, however in order to restore the garden as a semi-public space for the neighbourhood following actions could be taken: Providing direct access to the garden from the street and the internal communal spaces of the dwelling (addressed in ‘façade’), which also create a visual connection to the streets therefore the garden is not cut off from the rest of the neighbourhood, research has suggested that gardens which are too isolated tend not to be used. Allowing residents living in ground floor apartments to appropriate garden directly from their households, this proposal partially contradicts the initial attempts to eradicate segregation and neglect by private residents, however this can be solved by providing special conditions, i.e. the individual dwellings will be not permitted to create a barriers around private zones, the space will remain semi-public – belonging to the neighbourhood. The typology of the semi open block intrinsically provides a transition between the public and semi-public on the Williem de Zwijgerlaan, however it has been negated by the permanently closed gate. This proves to be a problem at present, but if the provision of other direct entrance would prove possible, the border between the spheres would not be a problem, but rather an advantage eradicating trespassing. Aesthetic issues should be considered and the potential opening of the garden during the day time possible. Partial conversion or landscaping of the garden itself is proposed; creating an outdoor room, playground for children, benches and possible spaces for allotments or other activities – drawing the neighbourhood into the garden. As has been addressed in the main body of the text, rigid prescriptions of the

activities should be avoided; the loose program of the space will allow individual creativity to flourish whilst encouraging individual and communal activities. People feel more attached to places where they can put their individuality in to them. As can be seen the overall layout of the block is maintained as initially intended with some larger or smaller interventions throughout the body of the edifice, it could be questioned whether the interventions undermine the initial intentions of the design, however it has to be considered that at this stage these are only suggestions and though the design process some of the suggestions will be omitted or adapted in order to mitigate between valuable attributes of the initial design and the requirements of today and the future keeping in mind the concept of porosity, in order to ensure the longevity of the use of the dwelling. A stated value of the initial design was implementation of the ideology: light, space and air. 1. The initial design of the Merkelbach building presented a transition between traditional building and the modernism attitude moving toward new light materials such as glass and steel. The sample of the implementation of this attitude can be seen in using steel frame windows and front doors, also in the balcony fences (see image appendix 1). These aspects have been undermined in the prior interventions – replacement using heavier aluminium and plastic window and door frames and the replacement of the balcony fencing. The initial image of the building has been lost with no additional value added. In the implementation of the new proposal, the new interpretation of the original features will be considered. Additionally, it could be questioned whether the ideology of light, space and air was achieved successfully, and if it was whether the dwellings meet contemporary and future requirements. Therefore the ideology will be carried throughout the intervention to meet today’s expectations.

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Interiors: At the present the provision of the interior spaces do not meet current requirements and the expectations; the attitude of light, air and space is untraceable, the living spaces feel excessively compact and inflexible, therefore drastic changes will have to be taken in order to bring the building to the expected quality. Finally, as has been stated previously, the most important attitude of the initial design was taken in account throughout the research – the intangible. Ben Merkelbach was greatly involved in understanding working class routines of daily life, in order to provide a suitable quality of life for them.126 As times changed the expectations and requirements rose, therefore it has to be expected that the layering of new and historic will be taking place in order to eradicate the stagnation of the current housing stock, some of the more drastic actions towards physical body of the edifice should be expected in to bring it up to modern standards. Therefore, for the following design proposal it must be kept in mind, that visibility and connectedness is the key to a safe, happy and integrated neighbourhood. In the book ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’ the importance of the integration and possibilities of appropriation of the exterior spaces of neighbourhoods is discussed. Their research illustrates that neighbourhoods that are better appropriated on street level are safer and the residents experience a greater connection to their neighbours. They draw examples of residential areas such as; Ijburg, Borneo-Spoorenburg in the Eastern Docklands, with other examples in the East and South of Amsterdam. These are areas where residents are able to appropriate their surroundings (not only their dwelling space and gardens) and create an area where adults and children feel safe.127 As details of research were not given, I have researched statistics on the relative safety in the metropolis of Amsterdam. It showed that the neighbourhoods mentioned above enjoy a greater level of safety when compared to Landlust: the comparison shows the Eastern Docklands with a safety index of 72, Ijburg- 75 and Landlust 120 (the lower the index the greater safety level in the neighbourhood).128

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‘Considering the progress been made in establishing operative definitions of some of the qualities that make great streets. More is measured and definable that we once thought. We continue to know more about definition, transparency, spacing (of trees, for example), human scale, and what makes new buildings [or renewed] fit in others in specific environments. Much, however, remains uncertain, and so it is not easy to know when a quality has been achieved in the best way, or when, for example, buildings are so tall as to be oppressive. In the realm of the street design, it may not be all that critical to know the answer to some of these questions with precision. Understanding what the most critical factors are, and knowing what has been tried and has worked or failed in variety of situations, may be enough. Street design, like any other creative act, always involves leapmanship, a point where it is necessary to jump from the known to something else that is desired, without knowing for sure where one will land’129 - A.B. Jacobs I feel the above quotation summarises all I would hope to achieve through the design process of this project. Certainly patterns have been recognised in Landlust which would (using the framework which Jacobs alludes to and also working beyond it within the unknown he also acknowledges) improve the social activity, quality of life and level of safety for the neighbourhood. This focus on improving the social aspect matches the intangible cultural/historic values of the original development. It is only through the application of these theories through practice (the academic exercise – design process) that a complete conclusion may be reached.


Bibliography:

Kras, R., Rebel, B. , . . (ed.), Het Nieuwe Bouwen: Amsterdam 1920-1960, Delft University Press, 1983. Source: TU Delft Repository on-line.

Alexander C., Ishikawa S., Silverstein M., ‘A pattern language: Towns/ buildings/ construction’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977

Longfield, J., Shop Drawings: ‘The In-Situ Drawing Practices of The Citizen Architect’, PhD thesis Published in TRACEY, journal Drawing In-Situ, 2014

Alexander C., ‘The Timeless Way of Building’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1979

Moor M., Rowland J., (ed.), ‘Urban Design Futures’, Routledge, New York, 2006

Alexander C., ‘House generated by patterns’ Centre for Environmental structure, Berkley, 1970

Panerai P., ‘Urban Forms: Death and life of the urban block’, Architectural Press, Oxford, 2004, pp. 56-89

a+t research group, ’10 stories of collective housing: graphical analysis of inspiring masterpieces’, a+t research group, Spain, 2013

Sennett, R., ‘The Open City’- published essay and lectures. Source: http://www.richardsennett.com/documentdownload.axd?documentresourceid=2 , Accessed: September 2015

Brown H., ‘“CODEVELOPMENT”: As a Principle for Next Generation Infrastructure’ van de Coevering, P., Snellen, D., ‘The Future of Residential Parking in the Netherlands: The Impact of Increasing Car Ownership On The Character Of Residential Areas’, On-line Source : the-future-of-residential-parking-in-the-netherlands-the-impact-of-increasing-.pdf (Download), Accessed: October 2015

Strike, J., ‘Architecture in Conservation: Managing Development at Historic Sites’, Routledge, New York, 1994 Urhahn Urban Design, ‘The Spontaneous City’, Bis publishers, Amsterdam, 2010

Deckker, T., ‘The Modern City Revised’, Spon Press, London, 2000

Also documents provided by the university.

Elizabeth L.,(ed.), ‘What we see: Advancing the observations of Jane Jacobs’, New Village Press, Oakland, 2010

Gemeente Amsterdam, Cultuurhistorische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt, Amsterdam 2014

Faludi A., van der Valk A., ‘Rule and Order: Dutch Planning Doctrine in the Twentieth Century’, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 1994

‘deel 10 Uitbreidingsplan Landlust deel 3 complex Merkelbach & Karsten’, provided by the university. Source- not known

Hertzberger, H., ‘Lessons for Students in Architecture’, 010 publishers, Rotterdam, 1991

Strokenbouw in Landlust- provided by the university. Source- not known

Glaser. M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H.,Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publishers,Delft, 2012

Ymere and Hooyschuur architecten, Memo,Merkelbach, mei 2015- provided by the university

Jacobs, A. B., ’Great Streets’ MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1995 Jacobs, J., ‘The death and life of great American cities’, Random House, New York, 1961

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REFERENCES: 1. Gemeente Amsterdam Bureau: Monumenten & Archeologie, ‘Cultuurhistor ische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt’, Amsterdam 2014 http://www. amsterdamsetrams. nl/allerlei/admiraalderuyterweg. htm, Ac cessed: September 2015 2. Ibid 3. Samuels, I. , ‘Urban Forms: The Death and Life of the Urban Block’, Rout ledge, 2004, p. 51 4. Ibid, p. 52 5. Elizabeth L.,(ed.), ‘What we see: Advancing the observations of Jane Jacobs’, New Village Press, Oakland, 2010,p.20 6. Jacobs, A. B., ’Great Streets’ MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1995, pp. 6,8 7. Gemeente Amsterdam Bureau: Monumenten & Archeologie, ‘Cultuurhistor ische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt’, Amsterdam 2014 8. Faludi, A. , ‘Rule and order : Dutch planning doctrine in the twentieth centu ry’, Kluwer Academic Publisher, Dordrecht, 1994, p. 59 9. Source: http://www. arcam. nl/, Accessed: October 2015 10. Samuels, I. , ‘Urban Forms: The Death and Life of the Urban Block’, Rout ledge, 2004, pp. 88-89 11. Strokenbouw in Landlust, the paper provided by the university, source- not known. 12. Gemeente Amsterdam, Cultuurhistorische verkenning: Landlust en Gibral tarbuurt, Amsterdam 2014 13. ‘deel 10 Uitbreidingsplan Landlust deel 3 complex Merkelbach & Karsten’, provided by the university. Source- not known 14. Ibid. 15. Kras, R. , Rebel, B. , . . (ed.), Het Nieuwe Bouwen: Amsterdam 1920-1960, Delft University Press, 1983. Source: TU Delft Repository on-line. 16. Gemeente Amsterdam Bureau: Monumenten & Archeologie, ‘Cultuurhistor ische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt’, Amsterdam 2014 17. Kras, R. , Rebel, B. , . . (ed.), Het Nieuwe Bouwen: Amsterdam 1920-1960, Delft University Press, 1983. Source: TU Delft Repository on-line. 18. Ibid. p. 28 19. Source: http://www. onsamsterdam. nl/component/content/article/15-dos siers/2082-spreekbuis-van-het-nieuwe-bouwen, Accessed: September 2015 20. Source: http://www. kunstbus. nl/architectuur/nieuwe-bouwen. html, Ac cessed: September 2015 21. Gemeente Amsterdam Bureau: Monumenten & Archeologie, ‘Cultuurhistor ische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt’, Amsterdam 2014

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22. Document provided by the university: Ymere - Monumentenzorg d. d. 28 mei 2015 23. ‘deel 10 Uitbreidingsplan Landlust deel 3 complex Merkelbach & Karsten’, provided by the university. Source- not known 24. Ibid. 25. Sennett, R., ‘The Open City’- published essay and lectures. Source: http:// www.richardsennett.com/documentdownload.axd?documentresourceid=2, Accessed: September 2015 26. Deckker, T., ‘The Modern City Revised’, Spon Press, London, 2000 27. Ibid., p.59 28. Deckker, T., ‘The Modern City Revised’, Spon Press, London, 2000, p. 87 29. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012 30. Public space is not so much about the car versus other users, but the overall accessibility of the street: for delivering goods, for residents, and for those few visitors who want to come by car. 31. Source: http://www.amsterdam.info/jordaan/, Accessed: October 2015 32. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012 33. Jacobs, J., ‘The Death and life of great American Cities’, Random House, New York, 1961, p. 47 34. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012, p.12 35. Ibid., p.51 36. Ibid., p. 82-5 37. SUAREZ R., ‘Jane Jacobs and the ‘Battle for the street’’, p. 18 38. Moor M., Rowland J., (ed.), ‘Urban Design Futures’, Routledge, New York, 2006, p.114 39. Ibid., p.116 40. Ibid., p.116 41. Jacobs, A., B., ‘Great Streets’, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993, p. 304 42. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012, pp. 49-53 43. Ibid., p. 84 44. Meeting with the Yemer representatives on the site visit of Merkelbach on 8th September 2015


45. Elizabeth L.,(ed.), ‘What we see: Advancing the observations of Jane Jacobs’, New Village Press, Oakland, 2010, p. 20 46. Brown H., ‘ “CODEVELOPMENT”: As a Principle for Next Generation Infra structure’, p. 207 47. van de Coevering, P., Snellen, D., ‘The Future of Residential Parking in the Netherlands: The Impact of Increasing Car Ownership On The Character Of Residential Areas’, On-line Source : the-future-of-residential-parking-in- the-netherlands-the-impact-of-increasing-.pdf (Download), Accessed: Oc tober 2015 48. Sennett, R., ‘The Open City’- published essay and lectures. Source: http:// www.richardsennett.com/documentdownload.axd?documentresourceid=2 , Accessed: September 2015 49. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012, p. 201 50. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012, p. 201 51. Jacobs, A.B., ’Great Streets’ MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1995, p.286 52. Ibid., p. p.311 53. Sennett, R., ‘The open City’, published essay and lectures. Source: http:// www.richardsennett.com/documentdownload.axd?documentresourceid=2, Accessed: September 2015 54. Ibid. 55. Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 753 56. Ibid. 57. Ibid., p. 505 58. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012, p.85 59. Ikeda, S., ‘The Mirrage of the efficient City’, pp.28-33 60. Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 762 61. Ibid., p.549 62. Ibid., p.543 63. Ibid., pp. 548-9 64. Ibid. p. 775 65. Ibid. 66. Ibid. p. 290 67. Ibid. pp. 348-52

68. Jacobs, J., ‘The death and life of great American cities’, Random House, New York, 1961 69. Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J.,‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Aca demic Publishers, Delft, 2012, p.210 70. Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, P. 558 71. Ibid., p. 623 72. Ibid., pp. 618-19 73. a+t research group, ’10 Stories of Collective Housing: Graphical Anal ysis of Inspiring Masterpieces’, a+t research publishers, Spain, 2013, p.84 74. Longfield, J., Shop Drawings: ‘The In-Situ Drawing Practices of The Citizen Architect’, PhD thesis Published in TRACEY, journal Drawing In-Situ, 2014 75. Ibid., p. 545 76. Ibid., p. 316 77. Ibid., p. 576 78. Ibid., pp. 757-8 79. Ibid., pp. 782-3 80. Ibid., p. 645 81. Meeting with the Yemer representatives on the site visit of Merkel bach on 8th September 2015 82. Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 305 83. Ibid., p. 786 84. Hertzberger, H., ‘Lessons for Students in Architecture’, 010 publish ers, Rotterdam, 1991, p.41 85. Source: http://www.bykercommunitytrust.org/, Accessed: October 2015 86. Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 337 87. Moor M., Rowland J., (ed.), ‘Urban Design Futures’, Routledge, New York, 2006, p.178 88. Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p.518 89. Ibid., pp.562-3 MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117.

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Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 302 Ibid., p. 311 Ibid., p. 558 Ibid., p. 600 Ibid., p. 600 Ibid., pp. 816,1119 Ibid., p. 1125 Ibid., pp. 606-8 Ibid., pp. 742-3 Ibid., p. 350 Source: https://www.amsterdam.n, Accessed: November 2015 Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 820 Elizabeth L.,(ed.), ‘What we see: Advancing the observations of Jane Jacobs’, New Village Press, Oakland, 2010, p. 125 Strike, J., ‘Architecture in Conservation: Managing Development at Historic Sites’, Routledge, New York, 1994, p .119 Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, pp.393-5 Ibid., p.618 Hertzberger, H., ‘Lessons for Students in Architecture’, 010 publishers, Rot terdam, 1991, p.35 Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 623 Sennett, R., ‘The open City’, published essay and lectures. Source: http:// www.richardsennett.com/documentdownload.axd?documentresourceid=2, Accessed: September 2015 Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, p. 625 Ibid., p.25 Hertzberger, H., ‘Lessons for Students in Architecture’, 010 publishers, Rot terdam, 1991, p. 35 Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, pp. 628-9 Alexander, C., ‘A Pattern Language’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1977, pp. 628-9 Ibid. p. 661 Ibid. p. 854 Ibid. p. 662 Ibid. pp. 829-830

118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129.

Ibid., p. 832 Ibid., p. 382-4 Ibid., p. 649 Ibid., pp. 382-3 Ibid., pp. 685-6 Jacobs, A., B., ‘Great Streets’, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993, p. 312 Alexander C., ‘The Timeless Way of Building’, Oxford University Press, New York, 1979,pp. 248-254 Gemeente Amsterdam Bureau: Monumenten & Archeologie, ‘Cultuurhistor ische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt’, Amsterdam 2014 ‘deel 10 Uitbreidingsplan Landlust deel 3 complex Merkelbach & Karsten’, provided by the university. Source- not known Glaser M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H., Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publish ers, Delft, 2012, pp.49-53 Source: http://www.ois.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: October 2015. Jacobs, A., B., ‘Great Streets’, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1993, p. 313


Illustrations: Page 5. Img. 1- AUP map, Source: http://vaneesterenmuseum.nl/, Accesssed: Sepetember 2015 Img. 2- Landlust map: Gemeente Amsterdam Bureau: Monumenten & Archeologie, ‘Cultuurhistorische verkenning: Landlust en Gibraltarbuurt’, Amsterdam 2014, provided by the university Page 7. Img. 1- Historic image Landlust, Source: http://www.beeldbank.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: September 2015 Page 8. Img. 1- Historic Image Landlust, Source: http://www.beeldbank.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: September 2015 Page 9. Img. 1- Historic Image Landlust, Source: http://www.beeldbank.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: September 2015 Img. 3- Historic Image Landlust, Source: http://www.beeldbank.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: September 2015 Img. 4- Elevation, tech drawing of Landlust, provided by the university Page 10. Img. 1-Stair technical drawings, Archive drawings, provided by the university Page 11. Img. 1- Historic Image Landlust, Source: http://www.beeldbank.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: September 2015

Page 15. Img.1. Brasilia, Source: https://agingmodernism.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/citycenter.jpg, Accessed: October 2015 Img. 2- Sheffield, Source: http://www.sheffield.towntalk.co.uk/, Accessed: October 2015 Page 16. Img. 2- (top) Haarlemmerdijk, Source: https://www.coffeecompany.nl/locations/ haarlemmerdijk-62/, Accessed: October 2015 Page 17. Img. 1. Scheme replicated from: Hybrid Zones, redrawn from: Glaser. M., van ‘t Hoff, M, Karssenberg, H.,Laven, J., van Teeffelen, J., ‘The City at the Eye Level: Lessons for Street Plinths’, Eburon Academic Publishers,Delft, 2012 Page 32. Img 1- Section of the Koningsvrouwen van Landlust, Source: http://archivolt-bna.nl/, Accessed: October 2015 Pages 90. Img. 1-4 Historic image Landlust, Source: http://www.beeldbank.amsterdam.nl/, Accessed: November 2015 Page 91-92 Img 1-7- Archive original drawings Merkelbach, provided by the university.

All other images and drawings created by the Author.

Page 13. Img. 1-People, Scan from: Jacobs, A.B., ’Great Streets’ MIT Press, Massachusetts, 1995 Page 14. Img. 1 and 2- Modernism, Scan from: Deckker, T., ‘The Modern City Revised’, Spon Press, London, 2000

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Appendix 1 First part of the expansion plan of the Landlust, closed blocks

Types and quality of pavement found on the side All the paved areas within and in the perimeter of the Lanlust, are tiled surfaces, type and size of tiles changed, signify changes to signify gradients of use (more public paths ate tiled in larger dimensions such as image 8 used in the perimeter of the neighbourhood and smaller at the edges of the buildings.

Img.1 Landlust, on the left, closed typology blocks, view from Willem de Zweijgerlaan (left) Img.2. Landlust,closed typology blocks,view from Jan van Galenstraat (right)

Img. 1,2. At the edge of the building

Attempt to use lightweight/ luminous/ transparent materials- Modern Movement ethos. Img.3,4 Raised pedestrian paths

Img.3. Luise de Colignystraat, site in construction, large steel windows and external door frames (left) Img.4. Juliana van Stolbergstraat and Luise de Colignystraat block Internal garde, suspended balconies with galvanised steel railings and mesh fence

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Img.5. Internal garden path

Img.6. Pavement at the garden edge

Img.7. Under the underpass

Img.8. On the perimeter of Landlust


Appendix 2 (original drawings - Merklebach and Karsten)

Img. 3. Elevation, Bestevaerstraat

Img. 1. Floor plan

Img. 3. Section into the 4 story block

Img. 2. Floor plan

Img. 3. Floor pan with roof MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

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Img.6. Stair detail,plan

Img. 4,5 Stair detail, section

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Img.7. External wall detail, section


Appendix 3 Elevations

14000mm

14000mm

11300mm

11300mm

8300mm

8300mm

5300mm

5300mm

2300mm

4190mm

2300mm

0mm

0mm 6525mm

3220mm

4240mm

9450mm

4705mm

4435mm

13050mm

14000mm

14000mm

11300mm

11300mm

8300mm

8300mm

5300mm

5300mm

2300mm

2300mm

4190mm

0mm

0mm

9450mm

`3015mm

175550mm

4068mm

3060mm 8163mm

5922mm 11845mm

Img. 1. (top) Elevation of Merkelbach block, Bestevaerstraat Img. 2. (bottom) Elevation of Merkelbach block, Williem de Zweigerlaan

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14000mm

11300mm

8300mm

6223mm 5300mm 4610mm

2300mm

0mm 24120mm 7217mm

10440mm 16840mm

945mm

14000mm

11300mm

8300mm

55290mm

5300mm

3760mm

2300mm

0mm

8710mm

10440mm 945mm

175550mm

Img. 1. (top) Elevation of Merkelbach block, Juliana van Stolbergstraat Img. 2. (bottom) Elevation of Merkelbach block, rare facade

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7217mm


Kristina Kupstaite; Amsterdam/Delft; Autumn 2015. kkupstaite@hotmail.co.uk facebook.com/kristina.kupstaite issuu.com/kkupstaite

MSc 3 Housing Heritage Amsterdam- K. Kupstaite

Analysis of 20th century housing block in a'dam through the lense of c alexander theory of patterns  
Analysis of 20th century housing block in a'dam through the lense of c alexander theory of patterns  
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