Westerdok Apartment Building by MVRDV



Rotterdam architects MVRDV have completed an apartment building at the docklands in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Westerdok Apartment Building is split into 46 apartments and a day-care centre.  The façades are characterised by balconies that extend to varying depths.


Photographs by Rob ‘t Hart


The following information is from MVRDV:


The design concept is openness. The minimal amount of materials used; glass, steel and concrete results in maximum openness for the façade. The building has been completed recently with a total area of 6000 m2 containing 46 apartments and a day-care centre. The apartments have balconies of varying depths that stretch as bands along the entire facade, offering varied outside space and views over the western docklands of Amsterdam. The floor-to-ceiling glass façade can be fully opened and contrasts with the other buildings within the so called ‘VOC Cour’ port redevelopment that are mainly made of brick.


The urban plan is a closed city block with buildings of differing heights surrounding a central court. After two earlier urban plans failed, the client O.M.A. (Ontwikkelings Maatschappij Apeldoorn) has in fact determined the current urban plan. The MVRDV building is located inside the court with one façade facing the waterfront of the Westerdok. The project started in 2004 and is currently one of the nominees for the Amsterdam Architecture Award.


More Dezeen stories about MVRDV:



Gwanggyo Power Centre


Rødovre Skyscraper


Logroño Montecorvo Eco City


Urban Beads


Tirana Rocks


Make it Right (with other architects)


Gyre (movie)

Posted on Thursday February 19th 2009 at 5:37 pm by Rachael Sykes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • modular

    I dig this a lot. I’m always into buildings with façades like this: huge windows + lots of direct light – can’t beat that!

  • peridotprince

    This is a funny piece of architecture – it reads commercial, but feels very New York, and will be interesting when fully occupied. Generally, I like it.

  • SB

    No interior photos, but I gues they might be nice.
    Terrible plans though! What is that circulation all about…. the tunnel before the light?

  • mike

    ..that tunnel appartment is one nasty space to live in

  • p

    great work! loved it.

  • Vico

    Looks like a cheap’n’nasty commercial job to counterbalance losses on all those high-concept eco masterplan projects.

  • pop

    why do all dutch buildings look the same? is it because of some building laws?

  • May

    Rumour says that rem bought the penthouse…

  • chuck

    I love the fact that the client is O.M.A. lol

  • Boppie

    the floorplans seem to be really terrible indeed, I’ve seen better

  • oceanofair

    ..this was MVRDV-building , you are sure ???

  • sullka

    the exterior is meh…..nothing special.

    but the floor plan lay out is TERRIBLE.

    Won't even comment on the first levels floorplan (6 apts), take a look at the 2 apts per floor.

    I understand that a 1 bdroom plus den apartment could have 1 full bath and 1 half bath, that's ok, but such terrible bathrooms!, just leave the full bathroom private for the room next to it. You don't need it to be public when you already have a powder room and only 1 bedroom.

    That way, by moving it's entry door into th bedroom, the owner could use that wasted corner where the actual door is right now to add a shower in the half bathroom in the future if he adds another bedroom.

    It's common sense.

    • i cant understand the first layout …doesn't supposed to be used for office ? why all the bathroom no straight access to the private room?

  • amin serulle

    The floorplans are great… is just the structure and the user’s criteria, I really love the flexibility of the diferent units. however, some of the apartments could be more flexible in terms of joining or isolating the different spaces. The linear kitchens are amazing . The image is great, finally not too sophisticated… I AM GLAD

  • Anton

    Looks like the typical Dutch plan to me, usually the buyers have freedom to change the standard lay-outs. The small kitchen and bathrooms are typical, we are used to it. What is special about this project is the open facade, I would love to get one of these apartments, but can’t afford it. Last time I saw such a facade was in Tel Aviv where they turn the living room in an outside space by opening and folding away the windows. Seriously ‘lekker’ when the weather is good…

  • Joe

    I love the wrap around balconies.

  • one is listed on the dutch real estate website funda at the moment. see

    289 000 euros for a 66m2 studio space. not bad imo.

  • The plans might be OK, but the building is UNBELIEVABLY ugly. I live in Athens, a city known for its negligence to good architecture. I thought for a moment that this was designed for an Athenian suburb. I don’t try to argue MVRDVs theoretical background – it is not the point – but this is truly undesigned even by their standards…

  • arch

    extremely long corridor … how do you get the approval from the client of that ??????? it looks really LONG>>>

    i love the open facade and long bands of balconies. It has over looking problems. and please tell m how you persuade the developer to produce such an open building… or just because you are MVRDV?

    coz’ even working fo F+P. the clients still don’t like over looking balconies and open facade which creates alot of unprotected privacy problem. and over heated facade… etc etc.. .
    pleasetell me how you do the tricks to get the client’s approval?

    honestly, the facade with balcanies of different width creat a really good eye catching facade. and it will be much better with longer facade.. as you can see the first pic is much better with the fish eye lens than the normal perspective.

    it is good interms of having long visual facades for each room. adn open plan works for me.

    there are alot of this kinda buildings in manchester and curved form may further enhance the balcony geometry and increase the visual angels to the seafront.

    i will give it a B compared with the excellent works done by the firm previously which normally has A-grade design.

  • i man

    it’s a beautiful building but then when it comes to detail (technical wise), every problems and weaknesses have revealed..it reminds me to the difinition of architecture itself which is SCIENCE+art…or maybe science+ART to this building

  • ad

    we have a place in this building, and yes everyone who complains about the lay out is right ! that’s why you change it and make it spectacular..the views are amazing, the exterior becomes your interior..and the balconies all around are fantastic.
    True to say that mvrdv is good doing exteriors… next time they should hire professionals to do the interior design… but overall we are not complaining and hope to live there soon

  • SMartinos

    This building could have been carved out of inner city Athens. I guess in Amsterdam it will look just as silly.