In conversation

‘We want to create buildings that are not function-specific’

It’s January. Tealights flicker on the office table. It’s foggy outside, but on a clear day, you’d be able to see the A’DAM Tower, IJDock and the cranes of Pontsteiger from this very location. At the table: Claus Oussoren and Tom Frantzen, the men behind Lemniskade Projects.

Architect Tom Frantzen
Architect Tom Frantzen

‘Better to build for 20 special people than 40 ordinary ones…’

‘We founded a company together in the middle of the crisis. There was no money, we had no buyers. We thought: it’s better to build a building for 20 special people than 40 ordinary ones… We are going to develop something that draws the market towards it’, Tom says. The company, Lemniskade, was founded for the development of Patch22, a wooden residential building on the Johan van Hasseltkanaal in Amsterdam Noord. Architect Tom Frantzen sought out building manager Claus Oussoren to join the Buiksloterham Sustainability Tender in 2009.

‘More importantly: 75 people have an amazing living experience here!’

They won the tender, and, a few years later, the tallest wooden residential building in the Netherlands proudly stands in Amsterdam-North: lofts with flexible floorplans, energy neutral, layout and finish of the resident’s choice. ‘It was a success.’ Patch22 was nominated for the Zuiderkerkprijs 2016,won the Green Good Design Award 2017, the World Architecture News Residential Award 2016 , the Dutch sustainable building Award 2018 and last but certainly not least, the Golden Pyramid 2018, the Dutch state prize for being the most inspiring client in the building industry. ‘But, more importantly: 75 people have an amazing living experience here. In an apartment or house that they can fully adjust and finish according to their own wishes,’ Tom says. By the end of 2019 Lemniskade will have completed her second project with the same philosophy: Top-Up.

Construction Manager Claus Oussoren
Construction Manager Claus Oussoren

‘We don’t build a company, we build our buildings’

Tom and Claus know each other from projects they worked on in the past. ‘We are complementary’, Claus says. ‘The image is Tom’s responsibility, and the process is mine. An ideal team.’ What sets them apart from the real estate developer is their love for ‘the craft’, the creation of a beautiful project: ‘We don’t build a company, we build our buildings.’ The focus of Lemniskade Projects is on metropolitan areas with complex factors.

‘There is always the option to change’

‘Our buildings are circular. We prefer building with wood, because this material stores CO2. Other materials should be reusable. The structure: designed for disassembly’, Tom says. ‘In our vision of sustainability, flexibility or better, adaptability is the priority: a building should be able to transform over time: from a residence to an office, for instance, and to a hotel and back to a residence… In order to allow for this, all our projects have a floor height of 3,5 meters at the least. Residents can create their own floorplan layout based on their dreams, the decide what is important to them.’

‘Technology should be comprehensible and controllable’

Claus: ‘In the Netherlands, the focus of sustainability is often on the installations. We have a different view on the matter: while buildings can be used for hundreds of years, installations are often replaced after 15 years. Our installations, based on renewable energy, are comprehensible and can be operated by the residents themselves. Technology should not be a burden. The space should be freely adaptable for the initial residents, but also for the following residents…’

If you decide to start a project with us, you’ll end it with us

Tom and Claus work with a close-knit team and are loyal to their construction partners. If you buy a residence from Lemniskade, you can be sure of one thing: Tom and Claus stay involved, from the planning phase until long after the building is completed: ‘If you decide to start a project with us, you’ll end it with us, too.’

Read more about Tom and Claus

Lemniskade Projecten BV

Johan van Hasseltkade 280
1032 LP Amsterdam
020 309 0350

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