On Borneo Island, in the former Eastern Docks area of Amsterdam, we designed a compact block which encloses two collective courtyards. The location is bordered by water on one side (the former inner harbour) and a street, the island’s main access route, on the other. The dwellings are arranged back-to-back around the two collective courtyards, each of which measures 28 by 10 metres. The outer ring contains three-storey maisonettes with kitchen-dining rooms at street level and ‘barn doors’ which can be opened in a variety of ways, so establishing a relation between the dwelling and the wide public footpath. This should result in a lively street atmosphere. The inner ring of dwellings, lining the courtyards, consist of two-storey studio apartments resting on an underground car park. The courtyards are tiled with a pattern of Spanish tiles in earth colours, in contrast to the brickwork on the outside of the block. Each courtyard contains a linden tree and a huge picnic table.
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