Architect: Karel Petrus Cornelis de Bazel (1869-1923)
Commissioned by: Amsterdam City Council
Years of construction: 1918-1923/1926-1929 | Renovation: 2005-2010 (Marloes van Haaren).
De Bazel, well-known for the building of the Nederlandsche Handelsmaatschappij (Dutch Trading Company) in Vijzelstraat (street), thought that a building ought to have unity in diversity. For that reason, in his design he used a ratio system of rectangles, the dimensions of which were the same in all sections of the building.
Tug-of-war at the playground. Photo: Ben Merk
His outer walls also had a classical tripartite division: the downstairs residences with Middle Eastern influences as a foundation, flat bricks as a mid section and a pitched roof on top. This arrangement subsequently led the architect towards harmony throughout the building.
Zaandammerplein 163 - 166
As with the housing blocks on Van Hallstraat (street), here too De Bazel designed the basic interior. Cooking was done on the stove in the living room. For washing up and storing waste there was a washhouse. Thus the architect wanted to educate the workers; he thought that they should not be eating in the kitchen for hygienic reasons.
During the renovation of 2005, the façades and stairwells were restored to their former state. Wooden window frames and bars in the windows were refitted and the characteristic dormer above the stairwell and the robust chimney were returned to their former glory. Even the original front door is back in place. Striking details include the in-built balconies and the round windows next to the entrance hall.