Amsterdam snapshots | part II

Westerdokseiland | April 10, 2009
Westerdokseiland | April 10, 2009

The Westerdokseiland is one of Amsterdam’s most recent high-density housing developments. Located in close proximity to Amsterdam Central Station, the project comprises a series of perimeter blocks based on a development plan by Meyer & Van Schooten Architecten. On Friday April 10, MovingCities visited the project.

The architecture within this block was designed by three selected architects offices, namely Meyer & Van Schooten Architecten, Heren 5 Architecten and de Architekten Cie. According to the project description that can be found on the website of Meyer & Van Schooten Architecten, the project was developed as follows:

This new district next to city centre and Amsterdam Central Station will provide a combined residential and business area with more than 900 new houses, catering establishments. The redevelopment of Westerdokseiland is part of the large-scale development along the south bank of the IJ. The urban plan by Peter Defesche (OD205) made a clear distinction between the buildings along the IJ (high-scale) and on the other hand the city centre side (small-scale).

In 2000 Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten started with the master plan for this block in which almost 250 dwellings and 2500 m2 commercial space together with an underground parking had to be fitted in a very limited footprint. The outcome of the study resulted in the formation of a massive block with inner courtyards (cours). Openings are cut through the perimeter walls to allow views in and out of the courtyards, and enable the apartments to have external views, despite the high density of the block (approximately 300 dwellings per hectare). In order to optimize the aspect of the dwellings, high rise towers were constructed from the inner courtyards and bend over and across the external perimeter volume like periscopes.

For more information on the project, also check the Westerdokseiland-project description on the website of de Architekten Cie and read the recent
“Westerdoksdijk Amsterdam”-publication on Archined (dutch only, but the “Westerdoksdijk Amsterdam”-English google-translated version is worth reading as well).

Westerdokseiland | April 10, 2009
Westerdokseiland | April 10, 2009

Pictures by movingcities.org

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