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'Suspension bridge' maisonettes

With his complex of maisonettes and shops on Dijkgraafplein square in Amsterdam, Kloos showed that mass production does not have to lead to dull and colourless buildings. Where possible, he looked for solutions that provide efficient access to stacked maisonettes.

His ‘suspension bridge maisonettes’ were an entry to an experimental housing competition in 1962. Kloos, an ardent follower of functionalism, felt that buildings should serve society and should therefore not just be beautifully designed.

The high-rise building is designed to have closed access galleries on the outside. With flooring as wide as pavements and walls of glass, each of these galleries gives access to four maisonettes. Because a single outside staircase serves four maisonettes, only one outside gallery is needed for every four storeys. Without driving up costs, galleries can therefore be built to be much wider than usual, allowing children to play and families to meet.

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