After years of preparation in a turbulent time, the shovel went into the ground last November for the realization of a work and living building in the PED in Buiksloterham called Poppies. Before the outbreak of Covid and the war in Ukraine, Poppies’ design was the winner of a tender in 2018 with high requirements for circularity. Specific requirements apply to raw materials, flexibility and adaptability, energy, greenery as well as water. By adding spatial qualities such as nature, ecology and water storage, Poppies contributes to the quality of life in Buiksloterham.


The requirements of that period have lost none of their relevance. The building complex is mainly constructed of wood (support structure, floors, walls and part of the facade) with a view to the timber construction covenant of the municipality of Amsterdam (at least 65% wood/biobased in the support structure and FSC certified). Modular and factory-based construction is used, which shortens building time and reduces lots of construction-related nitrogen emissions by using mainly electricity. These are important benefits.

The building is also designed to provide energy. Solar panels on the roof and in facade sections ensure that net energy is generated. This means that future users will not be affectedby the uncertainty and high energy prices that will probably remain reality for a while. The use of modular wood construction, in which the carrier and finishing are separated from each other, creates a lot of freedom for current and future residents. The residents play an important role in the design. The developers aim at realizing a building that contributes to a pleasant living environment with many facilities that promote social cohesion. It delivers, among other things, a working environment, roof garden and also co-living areas.


The building is in line with the objective of the municipality of Amsterdam to build 20% of new construction projects in wood from 2025. That year is fast approaching, so good examples are important for scaling up. Poppies already fulfills this exemplary function through its participation in ATELIER. Smart energy supply is an important element, therefore Poppies will install a smart grid. This can contribute to reduce the problem of overloading the electricity grid that is currently occurring in Amsterdam and in large parts of the country. In addition to the net supply of energy from the built environment in the use phase, attention is also paid to the environmental impact associated with the realization of the buildings and at the end of their lifespan. This ending is, incidentally, difficult to determine. Where buildings made of concrete and steel are often demolished, wooden buildings are better suited for the next life cycle and residual materials can still be reused. Via life cycle analysis (LCA), ATELIER is working on making the various environmental effects visible. Poppies will be a future-oriented building where everything is aimed at reducing the impact of the built environment on nature and the environment.

Authors: KIm Nathalia, Rudy Rooth, City of Amsterdam

Picture Credits: MaMa Pioneers