This sewage plant must have made quite a stink when Dick van Gameren architects proposed to convert it into apartments more than a decade ago, long before adaptive re-use became fashionable. Today it stands as a testament of what can be achieved with a little bit of creative thinking and will. Located in Amsterdam-West, the now defunct sewage plant was incorporated into a new housing project. Instead of demolishing it or giving it a pretty facelift, the architects chose to leave it in its raw form, scrubbed it down a bit, no doubt, and then made a few simple interventions to create what is now a complex of naturally-lit apartments.

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Adaptive reuse, sustainable development, Dick van Gameren, Villa 4.0, sewage plant apartments, The Netherlands, Greywater Collection, natural lighting, green design, eco-design, sustainable design

The three concrete drums were given new functions. One was converted into a storage area that required little extra work, and the second became a greywater collection tank that has an overflow to Amsterdam-West’s central lake, the Sloterplas.

Finally, the third drum received a skylight and exterior perforations that permit natural lighting to illuminate several small apartments. We featured Dick van Gameren’s beautiful Villa 4.0 upgrade in the Netherlands yesterday, and stumbled on this other project. It’s an oldie, but we think it’s an inspiring goodie!

+ Dick van Gameren

images via Christian Richters