Dutch practice NL Architects have recently completed their project De Kameleon in the low-income area of Amsterdam known as Bijlmer. The housing block and shopping center is intended to operate as an "outward building," incorporating public access to shopping areas with passive neighborhood design elements.
The "formerly derelict" area is undergoing a radical renovation process in an attempt to transform it into a regular Dutch suburb, according to designboom. De Kameleon is part of the plan to build standard housing and provide green communal spaces for the area.
A shopping center is located on the lowest floor of De Kameleon, including supermarkets on two levels of the block. The rooftop parking is open on the sides to encourage natural ventilation. A large garden is located above the parking, featuring a number of trees and a man-made river.
De Kameleon's affordable housing block, which is 50 meters (164 feet) tall and 50 meters wide, stretches around a central courtyard, connecting to tower that is 10 stories higher than the rest of the project, according to the architect’s statement. Strategic gaps in the building optimize views, lighting and ventilation in the court.
The repetitive, square bay structure "reduces the cost of the structure while a rhythmic and zigzagged configuration of balconies adds privacy for inhabitants," designboom writes.
The neighborhood project was recently featured on the cover of Wallpaper magazine.