Room towards the City

Room towards the City

"De Hood“ youth center

The “De Hood” youth center in Amsterdam-Osdorp is a “public living room” with a flowing transition to the city, created by Atelier Kempe Thill.

New Perspectives

Osdorp is one of several quarters in the Western part of Amsterdam, newly built during the 1950s in the vein of post-war functionalism. However, then utopias have turned into wide skepticism. For a few years now, local authorities have been looking for strategies to break up the dullness of the quarter. The “De Hood” youth center, designed by Rotterdam architects Atelier Kempe Thill and opened at the beginning of April, is an important component.

Cube rich in Contrast

The exterior of the new building presents itself as a minimalist cube with large glass areas and an end-to-end closed white façade. However, the strict geometry has no esthetic end in itself, but the phenomenology of two utterly different spatial concepts inside the ashlar: The first floor has been designed as a fully glazed “public living room” with office and service core inside and a free 360-degree view of the small adjacent park. The public design does not only reduce any maybe existing fears of entering, but is explicitly supposed to make people living nearby accept the building, since they can visually participate in the activities going on inside anytime.

A clear contrast to the transparency of the first floor is the design of the upper level. In order to create a neutral and multi-functional event room, André Kempe and Oliver Thill have realized a completely closed introverted room which is only lit by two large skylights. Surprisingly, this upper floor definitely appears brighter than the fully opened first floor. The generous height and the flexibility in terms of divisibility add to the room’s character as well as its pure white coloring, drawing the visitor’s attention towards the sky.

Reasonably-priced Materials   

André Kempe and Oliver Thill like to describe their approach as “Ikea classicism” – as an attempt to make a virtue out of a necessity and to realize architectural solutions at the highest possible level with the lowest possible budget. With their “De Hood“ youth center in Amsterdam, this approach resulted in using a reasonably-priced full glass system with windows of a length of up to five meters. And for the façade of lime sand brick above, the architects decided in favor of a weather-resistant polyurethane spraying system. The product does not only create a brittle and uneven surface with a character of its own, it is also said to be the cheapest material to get in the Netherlands for insulating façades. A perfect finish at a small price!


Project details


Atelier Kempe Thill, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Completion: 04/2011


GFA: 285 square meters


Ymere Amsterdam


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admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:07


admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:11


admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:13

aint gonna say anything but, just simply dutch. perfect.

admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:16

o yes

admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:21

Simply beautiful !!,!

admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:27

Like it very much. Very interesting relation with its surroundings. A room towards the city indeed.

admin's picture
admin 17. August 2011 - 22:46

everything is in that rectangle...

admin's picture
admin 18. August 2011 - 2:35


admin's picture
admin 18. August 2011 - 8:00

@Olaf: Yes, but the architects are from eastern germany.

admin's picture
admin 18. August 2011 - 9:15


admin's picture
admin 18. August 2011 - 10:06


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admin 18. August 2011 - 10:13

so nice..

admin's picture
admin 18. August 2011 - 17:22 least they grew up there.