Kleiburg: Do It Yourself
Kleiburg is located in the Bijlmermeer, a CIAM inspired residential expansion of Amsterdam designed in the 1960s. It is one of the largest apartment buildings in the Netherlands: 500 apartments in a bend slab of 400 meter long with 10 + 1 stories.
In the mid 1990s, an urban renewal operation started in the Bijlmermeer. The characteristic honeycomb slabs were replaced by mostly suburban substance. Kleiburg was the only remaining fragment in more or less original state. However, Housing Corporation Rochdale calculated that a thorough renovation would be too costly. Demolition seemed the only option. But there was fierce resistance and eventually Kleiburg was offered for 1 Euro in an attempt to catalyze alternative, economically viable plans.
Consortium deFlat was chosen with their proposal to turn Kleiburg into a ‘klusflat’ (‘klussen’ translates as do-it-yourself). The idea was to renovate the main structure –elevators, galleries, installations – but to leave the apartments unfinished: no kitchen, no shower, no heating, no rooms. The future residents could buy the shell for an extremely low price and then renovate it entirely according to their own wishes. Kleiburg was miraculously brought back to life by a collective effort of more then 500 people.
Dutch Design Awards finalist Habitat 2017
Photos: Stijn Brakkee, Marcel van der Burg and Stijn Poelstra