De Huisjes

‘De Huisjes’ (Dutch for ‘The Houses’) are part of a former charity located on the Waterlooplein in Amsterdam. From the main building, that dates back to 1655, food and peat were distributed to the city’s poor residents. Two residential houses were built at the rear of the complex in 1776, which were probably intended for the caretakers of the complex.


Since 1946 the complex has been the home of the Academy of Architecture, part of the Amsterdam School of the Arts. The Academy wants to use De Huisjes more efficiently as a workplace for permanent employees, without completely losing its current function as a storage place.


The original mirror symmetry of the building is made more readable in the transformation with minimal interventions and used as inspiration for the design of the new furniture. Bringing back the memory of the former partition wall, the axis of symmetry of the building that disappeared during a renovation in 1957, plays an important role in this.


To make the best possible us of the limited size of the building(s), 2.5m deep and 7.5 m wide, requires customization. Cabinets are placed over the entire length of the closed rear wall, whereby each cabinet is tailored to the use per space. In this way the facade remains free of obstacles and circulation will take place there.


The ‘biggest’ intervention is made on the first floor which has a very low ceiling height. Wooden planks are removed from the ceiling, creating a double-height space for a meeting room. By means of semi-reflective glass walls, the study places in the attic will be physically separated from the meeting space while remaining visually connected.

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Client: Amsterdam Academy of Architecture / Amsterdam University of the Arts

Program: Flexibile workspaces, meeting room, storage.

Status: Under construction

Team: Jarrik Ouburg, Pedro Magalhaes

Contractor: Altim Bouwbedrijf

Interior elements: Verdam

Eletricity: Deene Elektrotechniek

Upholstery: Erkamp

Frame and glass: Mview+

Light advisor: 50 LUX

Transparent wall: Showtex