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17. Open Fort

Client: Ymere
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Program: Mixed Use
Area: 45.000m² / 500.000 sf
Status: Concept



Open Fort is a strong but pliable structure. Its sheer scale and brawny meandering shape allows for flexibility and generosity on other levels, such as the way it operates and in the typologies it houses. More than a building, it is an expressive framework that can be occupied depending on needs and occasions, a structure that can adapt over time without losing its presence and character. It is a base for the borough, a place where people can develop their dreams, can try and fail and try again. It will have lavish areas on the higher floors, with mesmerizing views over the city center, and more intimate ground related places where people can explore, discover and produce. The fort finds its strength and purpose through the participation of those it attracts.

The deep frontal terraces reach out toward the landscape and accommodate circulation—streets in the air—and spaces in which to work and play. They are areas to appropriate and plenty of places affording green views. The terraces also shade the façade from direct sunlight. The interior court, a place of natural calm, can be reached where floors lift and the program erodes. The building can be financed over time by identifying and writing off separate building components piece by piece. The multi-dimensional structure will have a lifespan of a hundred years, for instance, whereas party walls and secondary infill will have a quicker turnaround. This allows the building to gain “historical capital” and become an integral element in a new part of the city.