Barcode Architects, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group - Sluishuis, a renewing adaptation of the courtyard housing in Amsterdam
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Sluishuis, a renewing adaptation of the courtyard housing in Amsterdam

Barcode Architects, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Housing  /  Completed
Barcode Architects, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group

Sluishuis is a renewing adaptation of the traditional inner-city courtyard typology. By lifting one corner of the block towards the water, an inner courtyard is created which connects with the surrounding water and offers wide views over the IJmeer.

Towards the neighbourhood, on Steigereiland, the block steps down creating generous green terraces and giving the building a pleasant scale and size towards its surroundings. The distinctive shape in which the block is incised in two sides creates a dynamic building that looks completely different from all perspectives.

With its iconic architecture, public walking routes and high-quality spaces where residents and visitors can meet each other, Sluishuis forms a bridge between IJburg and the city center.

Sluishuis is located on the emerging district of IJburg Steigereiland in Amsterdam, which presents various types of living on and by the water, and wants to strenghten the connection between the neighbourhood and the historic city centre, while providing zero-energy residences, commercial and public spaces, a car park underground, and a marina for houseboats.

The materialisation is intended to strenghten the dialogue between Sluishuis and its surroundings. On the IJmeer side, the raw aluminium facade reminds the shape of a ship's bow in the water. The balconies, placed in an alternating rythm, allow the outdoor spaces to follow the shape of the building. On the IJburg side, the stepped facade consists of wood with integrated planters and has a pleasant and approachable appearance.

Sluishuis is one of the most sustainable buildings recently completed. It has an energy performance coefficient (EPC) of 0.00 and it's energy-neutral. The heating demand has been minimized by combining excellent insulation techniques, triple glazing, heat recovery of the ventilation systems and wastewater collection. The energy consumption is further reduced by the application of energy-efficient city heating and heat pumps for hot water and cooling. The remaining energy consumption for heating, heat pumps, ventilation, and LED lighting is fully compensated for by approximately 2,200 m2 of solar panels.

Sluishuis won the Architectenweb Awards, the European Property Awards and the MIPIM Awards. It's also included in the Dutch Architecture Yearbook 2022-2023.

Sluishuis consists of 442 energy-neutral owner occupied and rental apartments (designed for different target groups, income levels and age categories). The apartments are mixed in the building. In addition to compact city studios and water sports apartments, it features duplex penthouses with views on both the inner harbour and the IJ lake. The stepped part of the building comprises premium apartments with spacious wooden sun-oriented roof terraces with views over the IJburg. The apartments at the bottom of the cantilever with splendid views over the IJ lake and located directly on the water are particularly remarkable.

Sluishuis aims to create an optimistically sustainable new environment where life on, around and by the water can be fully experienced. The dynamic shape of the building contributes to it with spectacular views and constantly changing perspectives. Residents and visitors use the courtyard, the jetty promenade around the building, and the public walkway to the roof. People embrace the characteristic shape of the building and use it in creative and surprising ways, creating a landmark with added value for the city. You can see this in the people who come to swim on a summer's day, run a lap along the jetties, or drink a glass of wine on the roof in the evening overlooking the IJ. In this way, Sluishuis fits into the typical Amsterdam tradition of living with water.

For this assignment, VORM and Besix Real Estate Development joined forces with the architecture firms Barcode Architects from the Netherlands and BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group from Denmark. The synergy between the striking Dutch and Danish architecture is clearly visible in the project and has resulted in a unique and distinct building shape that maximises the qualities of the site. The unique international cooperation between architects, developers and builders made this project possible.


 the Netherlands
 Besix Real Estate Development, VORM Ontwikkeling BV
 442 apartments, commercial spaces, shared roof garden, shared courtyard, water programme (promenade, floating islands, moorings for (house) boats)
 48371 mq
  103,100,000.00 €
 Dirk Peters, Bjarke Ingels
 From Barcode Architects: Robbert Peters, Hans van Pelt, Danielle MacLeod, Niels de Hart. From BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group: Finn Nørkjær, Andreas Klok Pedersen, Jeppe Langer, Jan Magasanik
 building consortium BESIX Nederland B.V./VORM Ontwikkeling BV
 Van Rossum Raadgevende Ingenieurs (structural engineer), Buro Bouwfysica (building physics, fire safety), Klimaatgarant (sustainability), DWA (E/W installations), BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group (landscape architecture)
 Vianen (HSB elements), Kawmeer (window frames), AGC (glas), Sorba (aluminium cladding), Eskrabouw B.V. & Leegwater Houtbereiding B.V. (wooden cladding and roof terraces), Donker Groen (greenery), Talsma Shipyards B.V. (water program, scaffoldings)
 Ossip van Duivenbode, Hans Wilschut


Barcode Architects is an international office for architecture, urbanism, and contemporary design. Our dynamic office is led by Dirk Peters, along with a creative team of professionals including architects, urban planners, and technical designers. Our work is characterised by architecture with a distinctive appearance and added value to the local environment. Buildings that move people and generate an aesthetic sense, and that people can identify with. Our designs are site-specific, but always with an unexpected twist.

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group is group of architects, designers, urbanists, landscape professionals, interior and product designers, researchers, and inventors. Led by Bjarke Ingels, the studio is currently involved in projects throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. BIG believes that by hitting the fertile overlap between pragmatic and utopia, architects can find the freedom to change the surface of our planet, to better fit contemporary life forms.

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