Amsterdam city columbarium

Designed by Dutch architect Theo Bosch during the 1970s, PC Hoofthuis is an outstanding example of structuralism. It was originally build to host the Literature department of the University of Amsterdam. Soon, this large office space in the heart of the city will become vacant. The redesign was based on studying the original aims of its architect. The multi-layered food market idea derives from the design of the main internal corridors, which acted as an urban space facilitating movement and meetings. The penetration of long concrete tubes through the floors is the main intervention. These tubes are used as a columbarium, for keeping the ashes of the deceased. In co-existence with the surrounding market, the columbarium addresses the challenges of contemporary cities regarding the limited and isolated spaces for cemeteries.

program | Adaptive reuse of P.C. Hoofthuis into food market & columbarium

info | 2012 – 2013, Amsterdam, NL

type | Design studio, Heritage & Architecture, Delft University of Technology

role | Individual student design project

responsibilities | Research & analysis, original idea and design, 2d & 3d modelling, presentation

tutors | Alexander de Ridder, Frank Koopman

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Transforming structuralism

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The tubes

Five concrete tubes run through each floor to serve the columbarium. The floor plates are cut locally without disrupting the structural system of the building. The walls are casted in situ out of reinforced concrete, which take up all the niches stacked on top of each other. There are only some small openings mainly at eye level for the light and minimum interaction with the surrounding busy market. The top of the tubes is sealed with glass panels offering light and views to the sky. The access is organised in every floor through sliding doors. The visitors can walk around a metal grating added floor and have a complete inner view of the tube.

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