Essay: Formats for Living Amsterdam

The new book Formats for Living Amsterdam will be published on October 1. The book showcases over 250 detail floor plans and contains a critical essay by Lyongo Juliana and Arna Mačkić.

When the first research for this book started in 2019, Lyongo came across the fact that the Amsterdam home no longer fits the demographics of the city. That research and the accompanying debate mark the starting point for Lyongo’s research into diversity and inclusivity.

Research topics

In 2020 Lyongo started as Architect in Residence at Arcam to further develop the themes. During the residency he investigated what the homes in Amsterdam should look like, in order to make it fitted for its users. Why is it. then that there is rarely a spacious hall in a new-build home in Amsterdam? Considering that only 45% of all Amsterdam residents were born in the Netherlands when Lyongo conducted his study. This meant that 55% of the citizens had a non-Dutch or non-Western background. So there are more and more cultures living in this city; cultures where it is desirable to take your shoes off in the hall or where the hall is an important point for greeting visitors. That was one of the research questions during his residency.

The percentage of migrants in the Netherlands grew slowly between 1950 and 2000 from approximately 4% to more than 13%. Now in 2023, according to CBS, 4.7 million people with a migration background live in the Netherlands. That is approximately 26% of the Dutch population! For Lyongo this demographic shift means that we need a different way of designing from architects. That is why he advocates for a design culture with more attention to the wishes and needs of the users – and in which differences are not suppressed but embraced.

Now a few years later, Lyongo has further developed his research. This led to many different events and programs, with Pakhuis de Zwijger for example. He wrote essays, articles and publications about diversity and inclusivity in architecture. It also has led to giving lectures and workshops for organizations that struggle with these themes.

About the book

In the book, Lyongo takes a critical look at what a home in Amsterdam means and discusses what we need for more inclusive designs. Formats for Living Amsterdam contains a total of 59 contemporary residential projects, from micro lofts and innovative social housing to lavish apartments. It is written and compiled by Marc Reniers and Jan Loerakker and designed by Ricky Rijkenberg. The book also has contributions and interviews by Vincent Kompier, Fenna Haakma Wagenaar, Indira van ’t Klooster, Paco Bunnik, Esther Agricola and Irene Ponec.

You can (pre) order the book online! It will publish on 1 October 2023.