Breathing new life into old things is one of the best ways we humans can reduce the number of resources extracted from the environment. A new development in Amsterdam did just that by creatively repurposing former industrial wine silos into residential buildings.
Beyond reusing the obsolete silos, project Habour Club more broadly involved renovating and extending a shipping terminal originally built in 1901. The project, by Levs Architecten, is located in the east of Amsterdam in the neighborhood of Cruquiuseiland. It includes the original dock terminal structure, a new residential building, and the three refurbished wine silos.
From old wine silos into sleek apartments
Back in the day, the silos were used to store bulk wine for the Dutch market. To make them safe for people to live in, the silos had to be carefully cleared of harmful chemical traces. The architects then fitted them with insulation and installed a comfortable and light-rich interior.
After refurbishing them, the team lifted the silos over the rooftop of the new residential building, which contains 81 affordable housing units on the upper floors and a large events venue on the lower venue. To ensure that those living on the upper floors hear nothing from below, Levs Architecten soundproofed both buildings and made sure they don’t actually touch.
“A core challenge of the plan was the incorporation of a sizable event venue directly underneath 81 much needed apartments for young starters,” explains the firm. “To solve it, the venue was made effectively as a stand-alone building, with its own foundation. Nowhere do the two buildings touch, the in-between spaces filled with absorptive material.”
Meanwhile, the original terminal building from 1901 has been transformed into a restaurant topped with a green roof for water retention and heat absorption. The living roof also serves as a sound barrier between the residents and the restaurant.