Jonas – BNA Best Building of the Year 2023
The winning building was designed by Orange Architects on behalf of Amvest and the landscape design was provided by Felixx Landscape Architects & Planners.
Jonas is a new concept for a mixed-use landscaped residential building, designed to strengthen social cohesion by creating a sustainable and inviting heart for not only its residents, but for all of IJburg (Amsterdam). The building has a strong focus on living together, with inclusivity as one of its main goals. 70% of the 273 homes fall into the affordable rent category, making living in Jonas accessible to a wide audience.
The name Jonas refers to the story of ‘Jonas and the Whale’. It stands for adventure, but also for shelter and security. With its irregular facade openings, the building creates an image where the windows seem to gently undulate across the facade. This makes it just different from the surrounding buildings on IJburg. The building is not made of stone, but covered with dark-colored, prepatinated zinc. The facade does not stand on the ground, but is raised and the volume is not rectangular, but diamond-shaped. Thus Jonas looks both familiar and alienating, sculptural but also rational, recognizable but also innovative.
But the real surprise of Jonas is on the inside; it is welcoming, warm, spectacular and expresses a modern and sustainable community life. The interior is unexpected and surreal. Through the building runs a public route that connects the collective program.
In addition to the focus on social sustainability, Jonas is packed with technically sustainable features, focusing on reducing material use and reuse in applying raw materials. Furthermore, the landscape design is nature-inclusive and aimed at enhancing the ecological values of the region.
Photography: Sebastian van Damme