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Ashburn Amsterdam_2AMSTELLOFT

Spacious DIY-housing in Amsterdam


The collective DIY-housing project Amstelloft consists of spacious loft-apartments. Inspired by dwellings in old schools, churches and warehouses: flexible space with double height which can be turned into living spaces ranging from open lofts to four-bedroom-apartments. The future inhabitants were intensely involved in the realization benefiting the pronounced posibilities and character of the design.


Ashburn Amsterdam_1Living like in old schools, churches and warehouses

The living spaces have a height of 5,5 meters which allows every household to realize their own demands and dreams. The concrete structure can be filled  with extra wooden floors which are easily adaptable when the interior no longer fits due to, for example, increased family size or a change of job.


Initiative, design and mentoring of realization

WE architecten took initiative to start this DIY-housing development. At information evenings a group of enthusiast future inhabitants was formed around the spacious living concept. The municipality awarded the initiative with a beautiful site with a fanstastic view on the river Amstel, running through the heart of the city of Amsterdam.


Ashburn Amsterdam_5Character-filled structure

The arched facade openings enhance the experience of the double-high spaces and give the DIY-housing structure a binding and outspoken character. Large facade openings and voids making it possible to create deep and bright apartments since daylight can enter deep into the building. Making a compact building was important to realize the high sustainability ambitions.


Fully engineered

One important principle was the separation of the building structure and the interiors in the realization process. This gave the individual households full freedom within their living spaces. This deviation from the regular building process also required a thorough coordination with the municipality. During the design process the DIY-housing concept was fully engineered in all its aspects.


Embraced by the inhabitants

The DIY-housing concept 'Living like in old schools, churches and warehouses' has been fully embraced by our clients. This has resulted in a surprising variety of lively and spacious interiors.



Ashburn Amsterdam_4Project data

Location                       Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Architect                      WE architecten (

Client                           Bouwgroep Amstelloft

Contractor                   Van Bekkum BV

Period                          2012 (start design) - 2016 (completion)

Used bricks                Ashburn


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