Large-scale building plans in historic city centres fill with dread and cause apprehension, certainly in Amsterdam. The tradition of the individual house on the individual plot is cherished or imitated and set as a standard. Nevertheless, already for centuries big and bulky buildings are being incorporated into our city centres. Frits Palmboom in conjunction with the art historian Koos Bosma mapped this ‘other tradition’ using a number of classic and current large building projects in the centre of Amsterdam, like: the Central Station and Post Office, the Nederlandse Handelsmaatschappij and the Carlton Hotel, the Nederlandsche Bank and the Maupoleum, the Faculty of Language and Literature and the Kolk.
The book Gestapeld wonen in het groen (Multi-storey housing in a green setting) is the result of a study of the potential quality of this housing type in recent and future urban expansion areas. In the process of exploring this quality, the study focuses predominantly on the way the building is situated in its own domain or in a semi-public one. A typological set of examples of multi-storey housing illustrates this approach.
What is understood by rural living, and what is the land use that underlies rural living? We examined these questions to be able to assess the feasibility of combining the specific programme with the envisaged rural character, and to be able to value reference images when addressing new assignments. Breaking the parcellation structure of diverse plans and projects down into separate plan elements provides reference material about net density, the relationship public-private and the organisation of public space. When combined with additional data about plot size and plot structure, concrete information about the degree of rurality of the plans becomes available. Moreover, interesting patterns and correlations come to light, such as the relationship between plot size and extra space in public area, or the tilting point between ‘living in the landscape’ and ‘rural living in the urban area’.
The book documents sixteen projects, organized into the themes regional scale, urban expansions, new residential areas, interventions in the inner-city texture, postwar areas and public space. Among the projects are expansive schemes such as Amsterdam IJburg, a design for an urban extension to Amsterdam with a total area of 450 hectares.