Housing block 'Piraeus'. Architects: Kollhoff and Rapp.

The architect Jo Coenen made the urban design for KNSM-island. He used the old harbour scene as his reference. He planned huge housing blocks, quite unusual in the Dutch tradition.

As an important participant in the architectural debate in Europe he invited also foreign architects to carry out his plans. The Germans Hans Kollhoff and Christian Rapp designed the housing block ‘Piraeus’. Despite strong opposition it was realized and even became one of the highlights of ‘Dutch’ architecture after the second World War. Next to it, the Belgian Bruno Albert, standing in a post-modern tradition, designed a block in a traditionist style. Jo Coenen himself added a third impressive completely round block to it and the Swiss Roger Diener completed the southern quay with a block, partially standing in a harbour basin. A unique ensemble of old and new arose on the KNSM-island. Because many old harbour buildings were preserved by Jo Coenen. Maybe his most important merit, because it constituted a breach with the practice of demolishing and then developing a completely new housing district at the time.



Housing block 'Barcelona'.  Architect: Bruno Albert (Belg.)

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Portal of Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands. © Visual Text, Amsterdam.