Currently, there is nothing to see of the apartments themselves yet. We are now preparing the plot for construction and working behind the scenes on the latest details and the developer COD is developing a so-called BLVC plan with the contractor. COD did not need to tender and already had the right to develop this part of Amsterdam on Gaasterlandstraat. However, that does not give a developer the freedom to decide all of the details themselves. Everaers: ‘For example, COD was obliged to build a residential building with apartments here.’ And that was not the only constraint.
‘There are many other preconditions that a design must meet’, continues Everaers. ‘This includes such things as the height of the building, the width, use of materials, water storage, and planting. Of course, the building needs to fit into the neighbourhood and with the water-retardant green strips that are characteristic of Kop Zuidas and help to drain away the rainwater.’ The energy performance of The Newton has also been given additional attention. ‘The current requirements are designed to ensure the buildings are as energy-neutral as possible, and you’re aiming for a situation where a building generates as much energy as it consumes.’
The design process took a total of 1.5 years. Architects firm Diederendirrix produced a draft design in early 2019 and the final design was completed last summer. What does Everaers herself find attractive about The Newton? ‘Probably the combination of a building that features the red-brick style and colour of the famous Amsterdamse School architecture and the focus on green areas on and around the building. It’s extraordinary how the building fits in this environment; how it both adds greenery and yet fits seamlessly into the neighbourhood and wider urban setting. Also, when it comes to sustainability, I’m impressed by the spacious, easily accessible bicycle path and the way in which the building connects with the water-retardant green infiltration strips. In these, rainwater is collected from the roofs, roof gardens, and balconies that store water.’
When building starts in 2021, there will be regular visits, mainly by the City of Amsterdam construction project manager. ‘Definitely, even though the final design is complete, our role here is not yet over’, explains Everaers. ‘We’ll also continue to check whether the building work is being carried out as agreed in the BLVC plan, ensuring residents and other parties involved in construction experience as little disruption as possible.’ Construction work, including the associated traffic, needs to be organised safely, especially in an area where people are living, working, and spending leisure time. ‘We’re working with COD on that, so that by mid-2023, we’ll have an attractive residential building that completely meets the standards and requirements of the age and its residents.’
The Newton has been designed by Diederendirrix architects, and the evergreen roof terrace featuring plants and bushes was designed by Felixx Landscape Architects and Planners. The gross floor area of the building will cover a total of 12,000 sq. m. and there will be 101 apartments, ranging from around 46 to 110 sq. m. These will be non-subsidised, private sector apartments. The triangular plinth of the building, located in what will be Hogelandplein, also has room for commercial accommodation covering 175 sq. m.