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Youthful tension: Youth Centre, Amsterdam, by Atelier Kemp Thill.

Front elevation

The beautiful stone circles created by the artist Richard Long in the mid 1990s exploit the tension created when naturally rugged, or roughly shaped stones are arranged into a circle whose purity and simplicity looks incongruous or at least unnatural. The power in this tension is riveting. How can this be architecturally translated?

Well this building, a youth centre designed by Atelier Kermpe Thil, looks nothing like Long's work, but achieves a similar kind of tension with its plain, though not pristine, white box that appears to sit on a crystalline glass structure below.

The first thing to note is that the building is prominent in its urban context, set within a significant square. That alone gives an indication of how important it is regarded in its local community. But the next thing I like is that it stands as its own thing, and does not pander to the stylistic frills of say a fleeting pop cultural aesthetic, whatever that may be at any given time.

This building was recently featured on Archdaily who I would like to thank for drawing my attention to it.

door detail

side elevation

with trees

interior looking out

framed view of stairs

interior view

Night shot

Site plan

Floor plans

short section

long section

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DETAIL 12/2019
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