Located in a new residential development in Houthaven, about two kilometers west of Amsterdam Central Station in what used to be a cargo harbor on the river IJ, "Superlofts" by Dutch practice Marc Koehler Architects is one of the first buildings to be completed and offers double height lofts that residents can adapt to their needs by choosing their own layout, dimension, design and budget. Built next to the waterfront, the steel and glass building is the epitome of contemporary living, exemplified by this loft of modern sophistication by Amsterdam-based design studio studiomfd, which perfectly embodies the project's forward-looking sensibility.
The Houthaven, which literally means lumber port, was dug out in 1876 in Amsterdam's western port and mainly served cargo ships transporting timber and later inland barges. The ambitious redevelopment project now under way will completely transform the area into a sustainable and climate-neutral residential neighborhood, complete with 2.700 housing units of different architectural styles, schools, a hotel and a healthcare facility, spread out over seven car-free islands based on the original docking ports. Reflecting today’s sharing economy trend, the project has been conceived as paradigm of collective living where residents can take advantage of the communal rooftop gardens, solar panels, and car charging docks.
Superlofts was conceived by a collective of residents and perfectly embodies the ethos of the new neighbourhood. The 6 metre high lofts vary in size from 30 to 180 square metres but all share the same minimalist aesthetic of exposed concrete walls and floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views and generous daylight. As they are fully customizable, residents can select everything from the layout to the décor as well as choose between going at it alone or working with an architect such as studiomfd, whose immaculately designed lofts stand out with their minimalist elegance underpinned by a vibrant palette of vibrant colours and sleek materials.
Studiomfd’s design includes two boxed rooms “hanging” from the ceiling that create a series of shorter and taller spaces - crucially without blocking the views across the apartments whose elongated footprints stretch between the building’s two main facades. The rooms in a room, which are connected by a staircase and a gallery, house the apartment’s bedrooms. Underneath, the kitchen, is strategically located in the middle of the loft between the 6 metre tall dining-cum-living room on the one side and the more intimate TV room on the other, both of which enjoy panoramic views over the canals and river. Sparsely furnished with clean-cut, contemporary pieces, the lofts feature a muted colour palette of greys and light pastels such as baby blue and purple, animated by splashes of exuberant colours, including the yellow-painted entrance hallway, potted plants, and lush materials like the timber staircase and the glazed kitchen tiles; in other words, modern living at its best.