Crisis? What Crisis?

We are currently in the process of ‘redeveloping’ our ‘mega structure’ Kameleon at the Karspeldreef in Amsterdam.

Re-arranging a project in the design phase happens regularly: the building process is slow and the conditions change continuously; among developers the ideas about what is the ideal ‘content’ of a project fluctuate perpetually. But in our practice this case is unique: this building is already under construction…

Developments in the market forced the housing corporation to reconsider the starting points for this project. The initial idea was to build apartments that are for sale. But since the market imploded it now seems more sensible to create apartments that will be for rent.

Market research indicated that the maximum rent that can be collected in this particular area is the equivalent of a 100m2 apartment. It turns out that if a larger surface per dwelling is offered, the rent can not be raised accordingly. As such any additional space will be pure financial loss.

Since the project consists of a big amount of very large apartments (150m2) some action was needed. Fortunately the big apartments were complemented by exactly the same amount of very small ones (50m2). So without fundamentally changing the structure, it is possible to convert the scheme of mixed apartment sizes into an array of units that now are considered the optimum (100m2).

We are forced to redraw the project under considerable pressure: we have to keep up with the pouring of concrete… But there is a positive side-effect: in this case the crisis directly produces new work!

http://www.nlarchitects.nl/www/under-construction/Kameleon

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