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The city blocks of the Spaarndammerbuurt are cut by the railroad tracks running towards Amsterdam’s central station, creating a series of small triangular squares. They are marked by corner buildings in different architectural styles, from Dutch Classicism to Rationalism and Amsterdamse School, and function as gateway and meeting point to the neighbourhood behind.

The evolution of the square at the junction of Zaanstraat and Wormerveerstraat is symbolic for the degradation and gradual revitalisation of the streetscape of the city over the last century. From lively streets with an abundance of public functions on the ground floors in the 1920’s to boarded up street windows in the 1970’s, leading up to the destruction and mutilation of many buildings in the 1980’s.

Over the last decades, as life is returning to the urban residential neighbourhood, street facades are dusted off and plinths reopened. The proposal investigates the restoration of a building by Johannes Hendricus Lesmeister. The aim is to restore and reinterpret the main elements of the original colourful and detailed facade. The return of the originally grand ground floor windows would again make the building more open and friendly towards the street and the square.   

project - Street Windows

program - facade restoration

location - Amsterdam

status - design phase

client - owners association

historic photographs - Amsterdam municipal archive