Amnesty for the Modern Project

architects NL Architects, XVW architectuur
project DeFlat Kleiburg, Residential Building Reconstruction, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
written by Vedran Mimica


NL Architects aspires to catalyse urban life. The office is on a constant hunt to find alternatives for the way we live and work. How can we intensify human interaction?  


Bijlmermeer is a housing development inspired by the principles of CIAM designed in the 1960s by a team of architects from the Department of Urban Planning of the Amsterdam Department of Public Works managed by Siegfried Nassuth. The project included the construction of 40 000 apartments, 90% of which were to be completed as an industrial building construction.

The construction of Bijlmermeer started in 1966 on a polder near Amsterdam. It was planned as a unique project in mastodontic dimensions, based on the reiteration of an identical residential typology. The post-war shaping of European cities followed the bottom-up approach, which emphasized the spatial possibilities of an open hexagonal grid, where all programs are separated, but ideally set. The grid provided each apartment with daylight and the outdoor corridor system with natural ventilation. The apartments were planned for a new educated middle class; they were all of the same quality and each resident, in an ideal situation, had the same residential conditions as their neighbours.