Amsterdam’s tallest timber building shows us what future buildings will look like

PATCH22. Photo credit: Frantzen

PATCH22, a 30m wooden high-rise, in an industrial part of Amsterdam strikes one as an ordinary residential apartment but its spacious interior shows what the future of buildings will look like. The Netherlands’ tallest wood-framed building has a great deal of flexibility; it gives tenants the option to switch between commercial or residential use.

Architect Tom Frantzen and building manager Claus Oussoren wanted to achieve something they had never done before: An outsized wooden building that can be adapted into a commercial space—if the new owners so wish—in the future without pulling down the entire structure.

To avoid complications in change of use in future, a new kind of land-lease contract was drawn up in cooperation with the city. It appears to have become an attractive “selling point” that will contribute to stimulating development in the area.

The 4-metre floor-to-ceiling height allows in a generous amount of light and space as apartment units are sold unfinished and empty. A raised floor system allows owners to install wiring and plumbing as they wish.


The building’s high ceilings, spacious interiors and raised floor system give new owners are high degree of flexibility to re-design and utilise the apartment unit as they wish.

The highly sustainable building was one of the successful plans in the Buiksloterham Sustainability Tender in 2009. Other energy-saving and environmentally-friendly features include rooftop solar panels and a biomass heating system. However architects point out that the building is not entirely made of wood—the floors are a steel-concrete-wood composite, designed to take twice the normal load.

PATCH22 won the WAN Residential Award 2016, for which the jury panel called it “spectacular.”

“There’s a lovely story in terms of flexibility… the interiors are ‘super cool’. It feels like they’ve made a warehouse and converted it which creates wonderful light, space. It is striking and is a beacon for new generations.”