The Double by Wiel Arets Architects


The Double is a minimalist architecture project located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, designed by Wiel Arets Architects. This recently completed luxury-housing complex, consisting of 45 residential units in two volumes–one street side, and the other canal-facing–are connected by an underground, communal parking garage, and are separated above by an internal, and lushishly landscaped, intimate courtyard for its residents. Four penthouses are situated on the top two floors of the rear, canal-facing volume; two on the front. The building itself is sited on the eastern edge of Amsterdam’s city center, which was built in the sixteenth century, about a half a kilometer from the ‘Zuiderkerk’ (Southern Church), which dates from 1608. Due to the delicate nature of the site within the center of historic Amsterdam, groundwork during preparation of the building’s foundation, uncovered evidence of archaeological remains from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, which the city excavated and studied. After months of the site’s excavation by the city, construction proceed on–The Double.
Rare for Amsterdam; this full service residential complex, has a 24/7 concierge, cleaning, and laundry services integrated into the way of life of its residents. Upon entry on the ground floor, a spacious lobby tunnels through the street-facing volume, leading to the communal courtyard. From the lobby, a wide marble staircase descends to the parking garage and individual storage units of each resident. Additionally off the lobby is a gym and wellness spa with sauna, which is both public, and included for use by all residents. The entire building is clad in glass ‘shingles’, which are painted in shades of gray on their backsides, so that the building never has to be painted due to weathering. The scale of the shingles references the copious brick façades of the buildings sited on the same street. While the shingles’ large scale lends monumentality to the building; it’s further emphasized, by the enormous square windows that punch through the façade. A relief on the front side of the glass shingles, provides the building with a subtle rippling texture, onto which charlatan like dances of glittering light and shadow can play.