Juf Nienke by SeARCH and RAU

Juf Nienke

‘Juf Nienke’ is a circular, nature-inclusive and energy-positive building with a strong urban presence.

The timber housing modules are stacked high above a grand staircase to create a large vertical void and signal the entrance to ‘Juf Nienke’.

This raised terrace acts as a communal street running through to the other side and connects the 3 housing blocks.

Half of the 61 apartments are intended for teachers and other residents who work in the essential services within Amsterdam.

The main 15-meter-high wooden structure rests on a concrete base of parking and a double height transparent plinth with a nursery and a fitness studio.

The materials used are mainly biobased and recycled; they have a low environmental impact and are largely renewable.

The prefabricated timber modules are paired horizontally or stacked vertically to create a variety of housing typologies.

By varying the depths of the modules but keeping a standard width of 4m, the housing is completely demountable.

By building the housing entirely out of timber we store over 580.000 kg CO2, actively responding to the challenge posed by climate change and contributing to a healthy living environment.

By prefabricating the timber housing we lowered the amount of waste, minimized the impact on the surroundings and reduced construction time significantly.

The planting of both the courtyard and the communal deck has been carefully chosen to enrich biodiversity. The deck has niches for bats and birds and high above the entrance staircase the facade is continued to create a bat hotel.

The green roof and vegetation maximise the potential water retention on site. The building is connected to the area’s heating system and photovoltaics on the roof will produce 140KWp. Source by SeARCH and RAU.

  • Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Architects: SeARCH and RAU
  • Building physics: DGMR
  • Structural engineer: Pieters bouwtechniek
  • Installations: Installatie bureau Heeze
  • Landscape: DS landschapsarchitecten
  • Developer: Dokvast
  • Builders: Barli and Hazenberg
  • Year: 2023
  • Photographs: Stijn Poelstra, Courtesy of SeARCH