JONAS, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Orange Architects + ABT + Felixx Landscape Architects

IJburg is a new extension of Amsterdam. It consists of an artificial island on the bank of Lake IJ, east of the city. On an empty plot in the center of the island, Orange Architects, in cooperation with ABT and Felixx Landscape Architects, has developed Jonas: a highly innovative residential building with a spectacular interior that has achieved the highest possible sustainability label, BREEAM Outstanding.
  
Jonas, with its mixed-use program, strives to bring residents together, activate the area, provide opportunities for self-realization and become the true heart of the district. The name Jonas comes from the legend Jonas and the Whale, a tale about intimacy and shelter found within a ‘big body’. It is a sturdy building with a warm heart. Jonas is iconic and stands out from the surrounding buildings – even by virtue of its unique siting and the remarkable program it contains. 
 
The building offers an animated and diverse interior, gradually evolving from public to semi-public to private. By connecting various spaces and functions – the rock, square, swimming pool, living room, canyon, forest, mountain path and the beach – to one another and linking them in a chain, the building accommodates a magical world in which the mental picture of a house is extended beyond the boundaries of the apartments. Besides the generous communal spaces inside the building, various commercial facilities are housed in the ground-floor plinth. The communal functions are not only accessible to the building's residents but also to the people of IJburg, strengthening the democratic character of Jonas and making it the centre of activities of the whole neighbourhood.  
 
Jonas is embedded in its surroundings by strengthening the conditions of its two different sides. There is an urban front towards the harbor that follows the quay, and a soft landscaped side towards the surrounding residential blocks. On the square in front of the main building, a pavilion with sculptural terraces doubles as an outside theatre. In between these two volumes, a public square has been established, featuring green spaces and boardwalks on the waterside. This three-dimensional landscape also serves as a playground.
 
Even though the square provides vital community space, the true heart of the building is the public living room, with its fireplace and cozy lounge area. The Living Room is connected to the Canyon, a vertical oriented space carved within the center of the building that provides access to all of the programs offered in Jonas. Residents can climb the mountain path, where at the top they will be welcomed by the roof beach and its lush holiday atmosphere established by a central pool, dune landscapes with dancing pines, boardwalk terraces and a central square with Portuguese cobble stones.
 
Passing through the canyon to the inner patio one can discover a completely different space: large trees, ferns and moss, paths in flagstones and wooden benches create a natural atmosphere. Designed as a quiet forest, the semi-public patio offers a tranquil place for reading, reflection and rest.
 
The realization of Jonas is planned for 2019-2020. 
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