Amstel III

Since the structural vacancy issues in office stock became part of the political debate in the Netherlands, architects have been coming up with numerous design and transformation solutions for these vacant office buildings. Undoubtedly spatial strategies are part of the solution. The crux of the problem, however, is financial.

The large difference between book value and market value of the office buildings is the main concern for property owners. Real value and virtual value are unbalanced. Devaluing or even demolishing their (young) property is simply not an option since this would drastically harm their financial prospects, their market position and their credibility. With the scattered ownership in Amstel III and no one willing to take this loss, each party is waiting for the other to act, creating a deadlock situation. The only way out of this situation is by collaboration and sharing loss.

The first step needed for improving Amstel III therefore is creating property trusts in which owners become shareholders and all loss and profits are equally shared (based on their property value). This allows a reorganization of current tenants to concentrate occupancy to the most recent and up to date buildings in the district. The "bad apples" in the area can be emptied, and opened up to new initiatives. Each stakeholder in the trust takes a small loss at first but will eventually fully profit from the improved, more settled climate for tenants; both residential and commercial.

In a well-written text the participants make it clear that an approach that focuses on the financial position of the property owners is well worth consideration.”
— Jury Assessment

Plinths and blocks
The plinths will be opened up to attract public functions. Normal office routine is enlivened with a mixed program of lunchrooms, supermarkets and coffee bars. Residential buildings will be added in the following steps, contributing to a greater sense of human scale in the area and creating a microcosm that is suitable for living.

Decks and Hackerspace
Most blocks contain an elevated public or collective space that hosts recreational activities. A place to relax or interact, while simultaneously providing access to the surrounding housing units. The empty office buildings will be transformed into hacker spaces to serve creative minds.



European competition