Program: 123 single family houses, 33 apartments
Client: Bouwfonds Woningbouw and Volker Stevin ontwikkelingsmaatschappij
Phase: completed, 1996

Zaaneiland is an island in the Zaan river situated 11km to the north of the centre of Amsterdam. The 123 houses and 33 apartments by Maccreanor Lavington form the eastern riverbank. Arranged as two long terraces each 500m long, one terrace faces the river and the other a park.

A clear hierarchy is established in the streets and lanes to maintain a clear division between private and public space. Houses have a vertical emphasis that reinforce their individuality within the whole and a special end condition strengthen the site-specific character and the urban atmosphere. The architectural language looks for a balance between repetition and difference in which spatiality and complexity are experienced in movements and views through the project.

A distinctive spatial relationship between the public and private realms was developed through the building section. The promenade along the water has tall facades, formal in character, with a raised entrance and living area that offers a view over the river. On the park side, the facades are lower and a continuous garden zone forms an informal green space between the house and the park. The public park becomes an enlargement of the private green.

An apartment building situated on the head of the island forms one end to the terraces of houses. The south facing location on the water’s edge and expansive views allowed for a building with a different character where the use is expressed on the elevation. Large balconies with an almost entirely glazed facade, sunblinds, deck chairs and balcony plants.