July 2019 - Learning & Development

Circularity embedded in DNA

Commissioned by housing association Rochdale, Inbo is working on a new plan for social housing on the Schimmelstraat and the Kostverlorenvaart in Amsterdam-West. Architects Jop Alberts and Marjan Sarab were given a mere five days to prepare the pitch. And they did so successfully! We were persuasive in our vision of looking at a location together with the municipality and neighbourhood and our notions regarding circularity. 

On a plot of around 450 m², Rochdale will replace an existing four-storey housing block. When it comes to sustainability and circular building, Rochdale is a “smart follower”: instead of experimenting, they use knowledge that has already been consolidated. 

Jop: ‘We gained quite some experience with circularity in our pilot project  Reconsider. Regarding the best ways to engineer, and how to make the environmental impact of design choices transparent by using materials passports. Circularity is clearly already embedded in our DNA.’ 

Inbo has extensive experience with participation processes. ‘In this first sketch design phase, we gather stories around the neighbourhood. For me, a new aspect of the process is that the local inhabitants are intensively involved in the discussion. Compared to the conversations with future residents, these discussions much broader and more abstract’, Jop says. 

Marjan adds: ‘Prior to this one, I worked primarily on large projects in which we involved the residents, like Space-S. The smaller scale and the fact that this project is located at the heart of Amsterdam are new and challenging aspects for me. The architectural and historical value of the location and the interests at play set boundaries to our freedom of design.’ 

Further information: Jop Alberts, Marjan Sarab