Amsterdam 2: The Pyramids
In the mixed area between the dense inner city of Amsterdam and the post-war quarters in the east of Amsterdam, architect Sjoerd Soeters designed this double pyramid. The pyramid is programmed with apartments, on top of a plinth with retail.
The striking silhouette of the building seems to provide a highly inefficient form for an apartment building. The doubling and flattening of both sides however smartly transforms the building into a slab. I only wonder how they did the uppermost floors: is there a huge penthouse in each of the tops? That must be an amazing place to dwell.
Although I think some elements of the design are certainly icky, like the detailing of the balconies, I love the plasticity of the mass and how the pyramids at the top meet. Just beautiful.
More subtle are the horizontal bands in the brick façade. It’s definitely not an element in a façade I normally like, but here it works nice. The layers are almost the same color, but the one absorbs the light, while the other reflects it. When you move around the building the layers gradually shift: one moment contrasting each other, the other moment they are almost indistinguishable.