Amsterdam apartments are tic-tac-toed in wildlife habitat
VMX Architects received the go-ahead to build a sustainable new building titled Tic-Tac-Toe in Amsterdam. Tic-Tac-Toe will be located in the business district Zuidas, which is expected to evolve into a mixed-use neighborhood. The first residential plots developed in this area will also be part of the project, creating 75 large mid-priced rental family homes.
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Tic-Tac-Toe is an energy-neutral, nature-inclusive, climate-adaptive and sustainably-orientated residential complex. The roofs and balconies incorporate rainwater capture and storage. Solar panels are integrated on the exterior with nesting facilities for wildlife. Facades also will include plantings of native species of plants.
Instead of the environmental footprint, the project focuses on the circularity concept. It attempts to maximize the lifespan and potential uses of the areas on, in and around the building. The building’s concrete structure will enable customization of spaces for various lifestyle needs of families at different stages of raising kids. Rooms can be repurposed for different layouts, and the building makes use of common areas for entertaining and meeting with friends.
Moreover, the building will be connected to a communal thermal energy storage system. The BENG-2 performance rating is negative and amounts to -20 kWh/m2. The building has no parking for cars. Instead, a communal bike park is attached to create a parking and meeting space for residents with two-tier parking racks for 330 bicycles.
Tic-Tac-Toe is located in an area that connects nearby Beatrix Park and Amstel Park. The building was designed to function as an ecosystem in and of itself. There will be special boxes for birds and bats, integrating food, shelter and hiding places for animals to rest.
“As most native species in our countryside live between the ground and the tops of trees, the nature-inclusive features of the building concentrate largely on the first 30 meters of the building,” the architects said. “In this zone, a balance has been struck between plants — rooted in the ground to the greatest extent possible — and recesses in the façade that allow local wildlife to shelter.”
Designers planted nectar and fruit-rich climbing plants. They also included colorful climbing vines such as parthenocissus, clematis, old man’s beard, grape hyacinth and honeysuckle to provide food and shelter for wildlife. The first 30 meters create habitats for sparrows, finches and blue tits to forage and nest, and plants that attract both bats and insects. Towards the top of the building, the plants are tougher to suit animals that live at these heights such as swifts, starlings and bats.
Finally, the rooftop contains three family apartments in the center with communal greenhouses on the east and west sides. Residents can use greenhouse areas to hold events. The communal areas also feature a large kitchen and a beautiful view of the surroundings.