Different types of townhouses – descriptions with dwg CAD drawings ready for you to download: the Borneo-Sporenburg townhouses district in Amsterdam

Here’s another article from our Projects Focus regarding different townhouse project types with an interesting overview of their characteristics using some of the most representative projects as reference examples.

In our previous issue, we saw how terraced houses are defined and what elements need to be to assessed during the settlement design process. We then moved on to introducing projects by famous architects, such as the Lafayette Park by Mies van der Rohe, the Malagueira district by Siza, the townhouses in Bernareggio by Botta. All of these projects were described and completed with working drawings in DWG CAD file formats ready for you to download and consult freely.

Articles Overview:

This week’s issue takes a closer look at other types of terraced houses and analyzes the MVRDV studio project in the Borneo-Sporenburg district of Amsterdam together with some precious material for you to download and collect such as the project floor plans, axonometric views, elevation and cross-section views.

In this article:

 

Townhouses in Borneo, Amsterdam_facade by the sea

Townhouses in Borneo, Amsterdam: the facade seen from the surrounding sea front and docklands area

 

Townhouses typologies

Townhouses can be classified according to different parameters: accommodation arrangement, levels of the housing development, size of the facade.

Housing arrangement

Based on the accommodation arrangement we can distinguish:

  • simple townhouses on parallel streets (facing North / South), which highlight the relationship between the buildings facade forming a single front and the street axis.

Examples belonging to this category are, for instance, those built in Stuttgart Weissenhof district and in Borneo Sporenburg district in Amsterdam .

Townhouses-Haus 5-9-district -Weissenhof-Stuttgart-preview

Housing arrangement example Haus 5-9 in Weissenhof district, Stuttgart

Borneo-ground-floor-plan-preview

Housing arrangement example: Borneo-Sporenburg district (ground floor plan)

This second project presents a peculiar individuality aspect. Each living unit is identified by a strong architectural variety, thus creating an animated street front, and by a different interior design within the same housing units, entrusted directly to the individual owners.

Borneo-Sporenburg: download the first floor plan DWG

  • semi-detached houses

Typical example belonging to this category is the Passau-Neustift project by Schroeder and Widmann.

  • diagonally semi-detached houses (parallel housing)

such as those designed by De Scarpis in Piano dello Stelvio.

Townhouses-diagonally-aggregated-Piano-dello-Stelvio

Housing arrangement example: townhouses diagonally aggregated – Piano dello Stelvio

  • others

the type of terraced houses aggregation, therefore their typological classification, is possible in many other different ways. An example is represented by the Water Villas as characterized by a rotation of the external houses.

Water Villas' townhouses arrangement

Another example of townhouses arrangement: Water Villas’

Levels

The terraced house level number is related to the size of the accommodation and the settlement density. The most common solution is the two-storey housing with living room, kitchen and dining room on the ground floor and bedrooms and bathroom on the first floor.

In schemes with medium-large sized facade, bedrooms can be contemplated on the ground floor (according to local traditions or regulations) when more than five beds are required.

One-storey solutions are adopted for small-scale housing or for special requests (homes for the elderly, temporary housing, etc.).

Borneo-isometric-cutaway

Townhouses levels – an example from the isometric cut away project of Borneo-Sporenburg district in Amsterdam

Designing three-storey units isn’t always that simple especially when needing to keep the living areas at ground floor and bedrooms on the third floor. The most common alternatives are a third partial floor, with one or two rooms facing a large terrace, and the living room on the first floor with a loggia connected to the garden by means of an external staircase; while the kitchen and dining room and possibly a garage are arranged at ground floor.

On sloping terrains where you can directly enter the first floor from a path upstream the accommodation, the three-storey buildings generally have the whole living area on the intermediate floor.

The split-levels solution, arising from the need to adapt the building to a slope or to meet visual continuity between the various levels of the house, presents a variety of planimetric configurations that are difficult to schematize.

According to the number of levels we can distinguish 3 types of dwellings:

  • Simplex– single level house
  • Duplex – 2-storey house
  • Triplex – 3-storey house

Modern townhouses. The Borneo-Sporenburg project in Amsterdam: on equal lots, different and non-repetitive design solutions

Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam plane view from Google map

Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam plane view from Google maps

 

The Borneo-Sporenburg is a district in Amsterdam built between two peninsulas, in the eastern part of the city, that served as dockland and railway interchange until the end of the eighties. In 1993 the area was converted and destined for residential construction, with a typically urban density of 100 housing units per hectare.

Section-B-Borneo-Sporenburg

One of the townhouses cross-sections inBorneo-Sporenburg district

The urban development of the area envisaged low-rise dwelling units,  in contrast with the building standards of those years. Traditional Dutch architecture was chosen in matter of townhouses. The area was divided into long and narrow lots providing an independent access from the road.

Work description

This project houses are therefore a contemporary variant to the traditional Dutch canaal houses, since differing for the central role attributed to the private space (patios and garden roofs) at the expense of public green.
The buildings occupy the whole lot, conveying the green inside the houses.

Three large residential buildings are located between the low-rise housing: they have been called “meteorites”, as if they had fallen from the space even though they have been carefully positioned along axes conferring a visual depth perception.

The strong architectural variety, starting from the Gothic lots occupation strategy and way of building, contributed to identify the animated street front and to give a strong sense of individuality to the single dwellings.

The majority of the residences have fixed dimensions: 4 meters wide by 35 meters depth and 3 floors with the first level 3.5 meters high.

A district area directly overlooking the canal is divided into 60 lots destined to be individually designed by future owners in compliance with certain building restrictions.

In the next article we are going to deepen the characteristics of the building types, we will see the facades size and give the possibility to download the DWG drawings and the 3D BIM model of the Water Villas project created by UNStudio.