Designed and developed by Amsterdam-based studio GG-loop, Freebooter is the first developed and designed biophilic residential project and an expression of the studio’s signature and philosophy of responding to a design brief with the experience and wellbeing of the end-user continuously in mind. The complex, situated in the center of Amsterdam’s Zeeburgereiland and with an eyeline to the Ij River, consists of two, two-bedroom apartments occupying 120 square meters each.
A celebration of craftsmanship in contemporary design, this bespoke two-apartment block harmonizes form and function across a meticulously crafted layout. Boasting a parametric louvered façade, which is a focal point for the neighborhood, this block opens into a compact interior layout revealing combinations of window features, timber interiors and layered finishes. The picturesque Zeeburgereiland is the perfect backdrop for family living and entertaining, with open-planned organic curves walking through to comfortable living spaces, fostering a sense of wellbeing and connection to nature.
Sensitive to Dutch history, customs and culture, the project took as its starting point, the maritime past of the Netherlands. Like much of the Netherlands, Freebooter’s location of Zeeburgereiland was underwater until 1910, and the body of water surrounding in which it stands was the main thoroughfare for ships docking into Amsterdam. Freebooter has thus become a modern-day ‘ship on land,’ with many references to wind, water and sail. Today, the complex is a focal point for the neighborhood that stands out in stark contrast to its neighboring buildings. On a land that belongs to this water, a new ship has set sail!
“We are part of nature in a deep and fundamental way, but in our modern lives we’ve lost that connection. Our studio envisions home and city design that respects both inhabitants and the environment, reconnecting both in the process,” said Giacomo Garziano, architect, designer and founder of GG-loop. “Freebooter is a response to that; as I see biophilic design as the key to truly innovative design, balancing the technical aspects of environmentally conscious construction with the qualitative, lived-in experience of an organic and natural space.”
Maritime design was the main source of Freebooter’s aesthetic and was also a source of technical inspiration. The development’s construction was entirely prefabricated down to the last detail, with western red cedar, pine and steel the key materials used throughout each apartment – references to the materials used in ship-building. Freebooter also takes its cue from Dutch maritime history, and in particular to ‘Freebooters’ – historical figures who assembled freelance sailing teams to take to the high seas in search of adventure and new lands.