KondorWessels Vastgoed wins tender Beethoven plot 2 with 'Habitat Royale'

Integrating high-quality architecture with a full ecosystem creates an exclusive quality of living for all residents including flora and fauna. Property developer KondorWessels Vastgoed (part of VolkerWessels) has won the tender for the development of Beethoven plot 2 at Beatrixpark in Amsterdam Zuidas. The building design 'Habitat Royale', which focuses on the connection with nature, was selected by the municipality of Amsterdam as the winning concept. The fully reusable residential building of approximately 15,000 m² GLA offers a highly attractive, nature-inclusive, healthy living environment for many different people, plants and animals. Thus, future residents live in the midst of nature which provides many benefits for their well-being. An actual Habitat Royale. At the same time, the term 'Royale' is a nod to royal living in Beatrix Park. Construction is expected to start in the third quarter of 2024.

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Alderman Reinier van Dantzig (Housing): "This plan is a fine example of how Amsterdam's ambition on sustainability leads to extraordinary developments in the city. The design is innovative and a great example of nature-inclusive building. I am very much looking forward to the final result, because this building is not only an asset for the Zuidas, but also for biodiversity."

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Nature first

Habitat Royale was based on ecological principles in collaboration with an integral team of ecologists, landscape architects and engineers. The building is a design by Mecanoo, which focuses on a meeting between nature and people. Arup is responsible for the integral sustainability and construction, and is also involved in the ecological design. The all-sided building brings together two worlds: the 'hard' Beethoven Square and the 'soft' nature of Beatrix Park. Instead of designing a hard building to which nature was added, the principle of 'nature first' was adopted and a building was developed that is landscape. The organic and sculptural formation makes the design blend into its surroundings like a stacked landscape. With the many natural transitions and connections per orientation, twice as much nature is added, thanks to BOOM Landscape's design. The concept was created in collaboration with Tenderboost.

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Living generously with nature

Habitat Royale offers a wide variety of housing types for people at different stages of their lives, with different needs for space. What binds them together is their love of nature. The homes can be combined horizontally and vertically, offering flexibility for changing future use. All 94 homes have a generous outdoor space of at least 20 m², one of the special qualities of this plan.

The experience of greenery contributes enormously to residents' health. Greenery is everywhere on and in the building. On the fourth floor is a roof garden with healing forest, natural pool and meeting place, a quiet, fully vegetated place where you experience the healing effects of nature.

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Sculpture in the environment

Habitat Royale forms a connection with its surroundings on all sides: the park, the square, the water, the sunbathing lawn and the lyceum. The undulating façade creates a varied and lively image and makes the plinth open up in all directions, so that the building stands like a sculpture in the park. Characteristic features are the different orientations, the variation in the spaces around the plinth, the polygonal views, the vegetation and the depth due to the staggered levels.

The varied programme in the plinth is carefully placed. The nursery and the orangery with exhibition space have a strategic position. The various functions give character to the architecture and scale to the square. This creates a well-functioning 'hybrid zone' between private and public space.

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Commendable jury verdict

The jury assessed the submission with a maximum score on all sustainability criteria namely: circularity, energy and nature inclusiveness. The design has the least impact on the environment and adds innovative systems.

Thanks in part to Arup, Thijs de Zeeuw and Koninklijke Ginkel Groep, Habitat Royale is a 'biodiversity net gain' building, meaning more biodiversity is provided than taken away. It is also a CO2-negative building: it stores more CO2 than it emits. Habitat Royale stores 33% more CO2 than is emitted in the materials during construction. In addition, the building generates more than twice as much energy as it consumes. And a more diverse and connected landscape is brought back, with more hiding, nesting and foraging places in integrated microhabitats. This will increase the entire biodiversity and ecological value of Beatrix Park and the Zuidas.

Visual material: To be used only with credit to the author: WAX