Just when you think green design has grown stagnant, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) comes around with a groundbreaking new scheme that turns architecture upside down. Excited to finally work in Amsterdam, BIG and Barcode Architects have unveiled their Sluishuis design, a floating mixed-use building that offers a variety of incredible amenities, including cascading green terraces, floating gardens, and 380 zero-energy apartments.

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BIG describes Sluishuis as a classical courtyard building that allows residents to totally embrace living on the water. The building is intended to become an iconic landmark, offering places to dwell, walk, and explore. In addition to the terraced main building, a promenade creates an archipelago of islands, according to BIG, that include floating gardens and a sailing school.

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Residents and visitors will be able to move around the complex by foot and by boat. There will be spaces to dock houseboats at Sluishuis, and a public passage along the building will lead up to a viewing platform where visitors can enjoy the scenery of IJ Lake. The building even rises up one one side to create a gateway for ships on the river; Bjarke Ingels describes it as “a building inside the port, with a port inside the building.”

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BIG says the silhouette of the building will change as a person walks around it. “At one vantage point it appears as the bow of a ship that reflects the water below; at another a vertical green community that invites visitors to engage directly with it; and finally as a true urban block with street access and city liveliness that is to be enjoyed by residents, neighbors, and the rest of Amsterdam.”

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Sluishuis will be part of the emerging IJburg Steigereiland district in Amsterdam on IJ Lake. The winning design by BIG and Barcode Architects was selected from a pool of four finalists; construction companies VORM and BESIX will lead the project’s development.

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Collaborating with BIG and Barcode Architects on Sluishuis are Bosch Slabbers, ABT, Van Rossum, Buro Bouwfysica, and Klimaatgarant. We absolutely can not wait to see this design come alive.

+ Bjarke Ingels Group

+ Barcode Architects

Images courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group