Lieven is an urban campus in the West of Amsterdam with housing for starters and students as well as a café, laundry bar and a gym. Bureau B+B was responsible for the design of the public spaces, roof- and courtyards and communal gardens with wadi’s for sustainable urban water management.
Located between a metro station and the neighborhoods center, Lieven offers an alternative public route through a lush and green garden. This creates a unique mix of urban vibrancy and collective living in an urban block with abundant green at its doorstep.

The inner courtyards of Lieven show a smooth transition between the publicly accessible areas and the area’s for collective use situated in the heart of the two blocks. The materialization indicates intuitively what the main and sub routes are. Changes in topography distinguish various spaces; places to meet, to play or to relax in the shade. Lieven does not only offer a new impulse to this part of the city in terms of housing program, but the inner garden also contributes significantly to a greener, healthier and more shared city.

The inner world of Lieven consists of a series of spaces with different dynamics. On either side of the central neighborhood square you will find semi-public courtyards. The custom designed fences blend with the vegetation of the gardens, subtly telling visitors that they enter a communal space and inviting them in. The front parts of the courtyards have a communal character. Here there is room for meeting, games or a neighborhood barbecue. Gravel paved footpaths subtly lead towards the back of the courtyards with more quiet and secluded spots where residents can retreat to read, work in the garden or laze around.

A precise planting concept shapes the transitions between private and collective, providing orientation and offering a real green space in the city with both warming sunny as well as cooling shady places.

By making use of the gorge-like space, the vertical elements and the filtered light, the Lieven patio’s form its own micro-climate within the buildings of the urban campus. The large stones, grasses and ferns and the Nothofagus antarctica trees give the lower part of the patio’s the enchanting atmosphere of a mountain forest. Lushly climbing Aristolochia macrophylla turn the open stairwell into a semi-transparent green wall that guide visitors to the higher floors offering wide views over the courtyard gardens.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Arons & Gelauff architects, KENK architects

Project location: Maassluisstraat 589, 1062 HC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Design year: 2016-2021

Year Built: 2020-2022

Lieven, Amsterdam


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