StoneCycling || Dok1620 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

DOK1620 at Amsterdam's First Circular Neighbourhood

Innovative & Unpolished

As you may already know, Amsterdam has a strong circular ambition. One of its neighbourhoods, Buiksloterham, is already taking steps to bring this vision alive: it will become Amsterdam’s first circular district.

Literally being just a stone’s throw away from our office (we love a good brick pun), WE Architecten was already familiar with the mission of FRONT® (formerly StoneCycling) since our conception. This project finally offered the opportunity to work together.

Buiksloterham is a former industrial and port area, located on the banks of the IJ in the North of Amsterdam. Known for its tough character, the area is increasingly becoming a vibrant city district where you can live, work and relax.

The circular ambitions make this part of Amsterdam a pioneering region. The zoning plan was established in 2009 and in 2010 the first self-build plots came on the market.

Buiksloterham is the first district in the city where future residents have a choice in the flexibility of modular construction. This means that the homes can be adapted to their specific living and working requirements.

All buildings are future-proof; made of recycled or sustainable materials and with frames that can be disassembled, as well as being self-sufficient and energy-generating.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Bouwbedrijf de Vries
More info



Waste upcycled with this project 4.600 kg
StoneCycling || Dok1620 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Circular City Houses 

The building we collaborated on is part of a row of 5 new-build urban chic townhouses named DOK1620, realised by construction company Bouwbedrijf de Vries Leeuwarden.

WE Architecten has made a design for five single-family homes of approximately 168 to approximately 180 square metres with a work function (a requirement in the zoning plan), with a high degree of variety, flexibility and sustainability.

An architectural Toolbox has been put together, a kind of Lego box, with a number of standardised robust façade elements that allow a lot of variation.

Future residents can choose from a palette of divisions within the façade frames, materials, story heights, roof shapes and outdoor spaces. The Toolbox makes modular construction possible in addition to variety and flexibility.

Future residents can step into the process at different times and make a home that suits their specific needs.

With a strong focus on sustainability, the five houses will receive solar panels, balanced ventilation with heat recovery and low-temperature underfloor heating.

The gardens will have a rain barrel and where possible, the roofs will be covered with sedum that functions as water buffering.

StoneCycling || Dok1620 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
StoneCycling || Dok1620 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Introducing Pistachio

The five houses are all unique, yet form one whole. The facades of the houses are clad with recycled material or materials that are easy to recycle. This results in a smaller CO2 footprint, with the nice side effect that the materials are low in maintenance.

DOK20 is the only house with familiar brickwork, but with a twist. For example, they are arranged in a block bond and the recessed surfaces in the façade have a pattern with relief.

We are proud to announce that for this project, we got to use our Pistachio WasteBasedBrick® as a façade for the first time!

Optimal use has been made of a thick format brick (210 * 100 * 65 mm) from which 14 different shaped bricks have been cut. In doing so, all corners and recesses of the building are covered with through and through green brick.

The use of stone slips significantly reduces the use of materials. Together with the plates on which they are applied, the facades have the same properties as ordinary masonry.

All materials used in DOK1620 are processed in a materials passport (Madaster) so that the properties can be retrieved later when reused.

StoneCycling WasteBasedBricks® - Pistachio Custom Sizes
Credit: Amy van der Horst

Sustainable & Energy-Efficient Living

Precisely because of the unpolished character, more and more creative entrepreneurs, enterprising residents and hip food outlets have settled in Buiksloterham in recent years.

The area features various schools, shops and a gym and cultural hotspots such as the EYE Film Museum and the NDSM wharf.

With the free ferry, you can cross the IJ and get to the city centre of Amsterdam in under 15 minutes. From the Noorderpark metro stop of the North-South line, you can reach the centre in just 10 minutes.

Scattered throughout the district, smart solutions ensure an environmentally friendly living environment. For example, the area is separate from fossil fuel due to the connection to district heating and LED light sources illuminating the streets. Other solutions include the buffering of rainwater and the use of greywater and cement substitutes.

The project of DOK1620 will be completed in 2021. The area development of Buiksloterham will run until approximately 2030. 

StoneCycling || Dok1620 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Media Mentions

First Circular Neighbourhood - DOK1620 in Amsterdam || StoneCycling
First Circular Neighbourhood - DOK1620 in Amsterdam || StoneCycling

We wanted to create a facade where as little material as possible is used unnecessarily. We suggested slicing the brick like a cake and using them as strips. At StoneCycling, we found a recycled brick in which the 60% waste is also clearly visible. In addition to looking good, it tells the story of waste getting a new, valuable destination.

Erik De Vries, WE Architecten

Sustainability was paramount in the design. We chose materials that do not require an environmentally harmful coating. A conscious choice, just like the other sustainability measures.

Erik De Vries, WE Architecten