Architecture of communities - an exclusive interview with Marc Koehler founder and head of Marc Koehler Architects
Following his studies in Amsterdam, Lisbon and Delft, Dutch architect Marc Koehler established his own design studio – Marc Koehler Architects. TV Architect caught up with Koehler at the World Architecture Festival in Berlin, where the super jury awarded his studio with the Director's Special Award for its Superlofts Houthaven project in Amsterdam.
The residential complex along the Houthaven quay in Amsterdam is one in a series of Superloft projects, a flexible concept of community housing, where people can design their dream home and share ideas and inspiration on self-made housing and cooperative development. The collective-living project emphasizes shared space which support social interaction within the community.
Sustainability is another key aspect of Superlofts. Waste recycling, passive solar heating, recuperation and charging stations for both cars and bikes are a must, but the architects go much further and use materials on the façade and in the interiors that can be reused and recycled.
The Superlofts concept is a fast-growing international cooperative network. “In total, some 900 members are associated with our projects which form a formidable group that is involved in the city’s development and is a political and economic force to reckon with,” wrote Koehler in an article titled “Building Community; Power of Smallness.” Marc Koehler Architects have been growing fast since its inception. Nowadays, it is an international multidisciplinary team of 20 led by five associates. It is active in all spheres of design, from product and interior design to architecture and urbanism.