Hofblok Hoogwerf Amsterdam

Diener & Diener


  • Frederique van Andel TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


Hofblok ‘Hoogwerf’ is one of the two housing blocks by Diener & Diener that marked the conclusion of the redevelopment of the Java and KNSM islands in Amsterdam’s Eastern Docklands in 2001. The buildings are situated at the entrance to the elongated double island. The Hofblok is an almost square volume around a courtyard, for which the architects took their inspiration from the Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza. The ground floor features office space and five studios. The 45 apartments, at least eight per floor, are served by perimeter galleries that can be reached via two passageways into the courtyard.

It was decided to continue the east-west alignment on all sides of the courtyard. This automatically results in two different floor plans: deeper apartments on the east and west side and wider dwellings on the north and south side of the building. Because most of the apartments in the Hofblok consist of three equivalent rooms they can be organized in different ways. The rooms are approximately the same size and linked in an alternating checkerboard pattern, which results in labyrinthine floor plans. The entrances and utility rooms are situated along the gallery in the inner courtyard; most of the living rooms face the public space.

Author Biography

Frederique van Andel, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Frederique van Andel holds a Master’s degree in both urban planning and architecture from Delft University of Technology. She worked for Mecanoo architecten and DP6 architectuurstudio in Delft, and lived in Barcelona where she worked with architect Toni Gironès. Since 2006, Frederique is a researcher and lecturer in the Global Housing research group of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment of TU Delft. Her main topic of interest is affordable housing for growing cities in the Global South. Frederique curated the exhibition ‘Global Housing – Affordable Dwellings for Growing Cities’ (2016) with venues in Delft and Addis Ababa. She is editor of the book series DASH (Delft Architectural Studies on Housing) and coordinates and edits the online Platform for Affordable Dwelling (PAD). Frederique teaches Master courses on Global Housing Design and Bachelor courses on Plan Analysis. She is project manager for the research project ‘Addis Ababa Living Lab: Creating Resilient Dwelling Clusters for Urban Resettlement in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’, funded by the Dutch Research Council and TU Delft (2019-2023).