Crossroads is a new place for people, plants and animals. It is nature-inclusive as well as climate-adaptive and rainproof, offering an unprecedented quality of life within the urban fabric. Through its unique biotope, it helps to green Sloterdijk, one of the plainer outskirts of the city.
Where railways, motorways, cycle routes and walkways intersect and people streams meet, Crossroads becomes the stepping stone for flora and fauna between the Bretten zone and the Westerpark.
For the first time in history, more than half the population lives in cities. In the coming decades, urbanization will increase at an accelerated pace. Traditional housing construction is no longer enough. We need to respond quickly and flexibly to the ever-growing demand for good and affordable housing.
Crossroads is the result of a technologically innovative modular concept; not boring, but with a beautiful architectural look. The focus is on optimal flexibility and differentiation, a framework within which every type of home can be realized. The units can be adapted, growing or contracting to suit their residents. Therefore the building is always up-to-date, future-proof and sustainable.
Crossroads has a lofty urban character and is a prominent and recognizable symbol enriching the skyline of Sloterdijk. It seeks connection with the clearly defined local context through its narrow volumes, clear lines and boundaries. Crossroads responds in height to the (planned) buildings around it and so fits in with its environment.
Crossroads creates two residential buildings with a clear substructure and defined boundaries between private (residential program) and public (non-residential program). A lively living environment is realized, with facilities that open the building to its surroundings. The key design drivers are spatial quality and ensuring social safety.
The stacked blocks are divided into a substructure, mid-construction and superstructure. The substructure, the plinth, serves as a base beneath the other masses. The two residential towers with their own identity stand on an intermediate building with its freer design. They refer to a rock carved by the elements in a green valley, which gradually becomes narrower and more angular. Planting alongside Crossroads grows upwards to enfold the railway bridge that runs through the plan, creating a ‚ÄėGreen Hug‚Äô, and rainwater flows down along the fa√ßades and terraces, collecting in a basin. The space under the railway bridge De Hemboog has a special function as the ‚ÄėSecret Garden‚Äô. Beneath the railway bridge, this garden connects the two residential areas between the towers.
The western residential tower in glass is 90m high. Slender and rectangular, the open treatment of its corners ensures maximum views.
On the Radarweg, the middle block is segmented to break up the mass and prevent a solid wall. Here the building folds back on itself twice, which also reduces the high sound pressure on the fa√ßades.
The centre block turns back on itself, creating space for green setbacks and terraces, the design of the ‚Äėgreen rock‚Äô.
On the east side of the centre construction a recess is created, a four-floor patio, which provides extra daylight.
The east tower is 40-m high and is the student-housing tower. It is dynamically constructed from shifted blocks. All facilities are concentrated at the entrance, which is located on the station side.
The location has a considerable noise problem. When constructing modules, we have looked into how modules can be fitted for an optimal acoustic solution. Because of the exceptional design language of the modules it is possible to make pop-ins and pop-outs. The space thus created can be used as a double skin fa√ßade. A deepened fa√ßade element with an extra glass layer can act as a reinforced noise barrier. In addition, the fa√ßade offers high-quality climatic solutions.
The overhanging of the modules provides sun protection, while the articulation of the fa√ßade ensures fewer issues from the wind. There are also fa√ßade elements with integrated solar panels that generate energy.
All the roof surfaces are equipped with the so-called polder roof technology of De Dakdokters. Under the railway bridge, extra water storage will be realized in the form of a pond. This means Crossroads doubles the current 60-mm rainproof requirement of the Amsterdam‚Äô city council. Furthermore, this system gives a boost to sustainability. In addition to the pond, the water storage is visible in various places in the form of water flows and also provides irrigation for the roof gardens.
A more environmentally friendly city is also one of Crossroads‚Äô goals, with its polder roofs, green terraces and green fa√ßades.
In the Green Hug, the innovative roof landscape for water management meets the green landscape for climate control.
The focus here is on greenery and a habitat for animals. Greenery tempers the heat that lingers in the masonry and collects excess water. Greenery offers natural sun protection in summer, dampens noise, improves air quality, captures particulate matter and ensures pleasant humidity levels.
The lush greenery climbs along the fa√ßades, spreads out on terraces, continues its way and finally reaches with long green fingers to balconies and greenhouses until it reaches its ‚Äėtree line‚Äô: a green embrace from De Hemboog.
At the same time, water trickles down. The rainwater is collected on the polder roof and led downwards in streams along the fa√ßade, now and then visible, to the greenery and finally to the Secret Garden.
The Secret Garden is a mysterious place to encounter under the railway bridge, where people and nature meet in an industrial landscape between intersecting roads: beneath the railway and on the roof of the parking garage.
A mirrored pond with lilies, edged by green terraces, is connected by a sunken walkway through the water. Light art, artistic lighting and a fairytale-like decking terrace meet under the railway bridge.
On the wall down which the water flows, you can see beautiful changing murals by different artists. Moving visuals can be seen on other walls too, giving the environment a cultural injection with art.
Crossroads has developed a unique energy concept that even allows for the control of housing costs. A cost-effective technical solution is based on this, with Trias Territoria as the guiding principle, derived from the Trias Energetica (energy saving, sustainable generation, and efficient use of fossil sources).
An added requirement was that as much as possible should be solved at building level, giving the building owner and residents control of their own energy management.
The characteristics of the energy concept are the in-house management of heat and cold, an almost energy-neutral profile and a smart grid.