Power to the People

Een bottom-up strategie voor stedelijke diversiteit

Aan de kop van het van Hasseltkanaal aan de Noordelijke IJ-overs in Amsterdam lag een verlaten industrieterrein. De opgave vroeg om een duurzame stedebouwkundige invulling voor dit gebied. In het ontwerp definiëren straten en grachten vier blokken met hoven en een park. Zo ontstaat een afwisseling van stedelijke ruimten. De ruimtelijk besloten grachten verbinden de buurt met het open IJ.
Kleinschalige verkaveling heeft zich bewezen als duurzame stedebouw. Kavels van verschillende breedten bieden iedereen het initiatief tot het bouwen van een eigen pand. Kleine kavels zijn geschikt voor partiuculieren, grotere kavels voor collectief particulier opdrachtgeverschap (CPO). De grootste voor woningcorporaties en projectontwikkelaars. De opstelsom van initiatieven en de uitwisseling van programma’s op straat maakt een levendige en duurzame stad.

Project info

Power to the People
Noordelijke IJ-oevers, Amsterdam
Stedenbouwkundige visie, gebouwen
prijsvraag 2007, Europan

A bottom-up strategy for urban diversity

Introduction
New developments in the Netherlands are far less exiting than existing urban neighbourhoods. Even the best examples, such as IJburg in Amsterdam, are predominantly housing areas, that lack the little additional programme and activities that make the old city so lively and enjoyable.In the twentieth century, a strong government, together with housing corporations took control of urban development in the Netherlands. In the beginning of the century, the ‘Woningwet’ made it possible for them to realize decent housing for the masses. In the post-war reconstruction, countless residential areas were built to solve the housing shortage. Since the 1990s however, government has withdrawn from public housing. But the top-down approach remains.Nowadays, three parties are involved in the making of urban areas: municipalities, developers and residents. Municipalities aim at maximizing the proceeds of the sell of land, and at the same time strive for urban quality. Property developers aim to realize buildings that sell well, trying to maximize profit and keeping risks low. Together, they make deals for the development of entire urban areas, understanding each others position and interests. And the future residents? They have no say whatsoever; they can either buy or not buy what is offered.It is time to change this and to return the initiative to those who work and live in the city, as it has been before. In 1997, Carel Weeber wrote his manifesto ‘Het Wilde Wonen’, in which he pleaded for a bottom-up approach to suburban housing. Now, exactly ten years later, Europan offers a great opportunity to start a new bottom-up strategy for urban development.We strongly believe that there is only one precondition for good plans: interesting clients. Amsterdam is a city of 700.000 people. Its inhabitants make it one of the most exhilarating, buzzing and innovating places in the world. There are literally hundreds of people out there that would love to be a part of the making of a new urban area on the Europan site. We propose to offer them an opportunity to realize their dreams. Together they can create an environment that is diverse, enjoyable and durable. On these panels we would like to explain the plan and introduce a number water, land and buildings interwovencharacterof these people to you. UrbanismThe site is located in an outer corner of the IJ. Two canals are added that interweave the site with the harbour. The canals and streets are of equal importance and define four urban blocks. The western two blocks are accessed from the outside. Their inner courts are private gardens. In the two eastern blocks, the buildings are accessed from the public courtyards. The rear of the buildings face directly onto the canals. The park on the western tip of the site is enclosed by a fence with three gates. Its water edges slope, so people can approach the water. Its interior forms a stand that protects people from the harsh winds and offers a place for festivals and games. Next to the southern gate of the park lies the entry to the metro station.A sequence of spaces is created: it starts with the huge open space of the IJ, in which one feels exposed. Next is the wide canal and its quays. Then come the smaller canals bordered by buildigs on both sides. Most sheltered are the courtyards, which are enclosed spaces.

Parceling out the location
The south western block forms the Europan location. In the interior of the block lies a communal parking garage. It is built on the ground level, making it simple and affordable. On top lies a communal garden. The edge of the block is divided into different parcels: big ones for big buidings and smaller ones for townhouses. Residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings can be built on the parcels.A building can be made from 1 to 5 units of 5.4 meters in width. A typological study on this panel shows an array of possibilities in both residential and commercial buildings. The proposed building hight is around 20 meters, allowing every building a maximum of 5 to 6 stories. Each building has its own party walls, offering not only good sound insulation from the neighbours, but also allowing the replacement of the building in the future. This makes the urban scheme durable. Within every building, clients are encouraged to use colums instead of solid walls. This allows all kinds of usage of the floor plans and makes the buildings themselves durable.  Shallow buildings up to 15 meters depth stand right up against the garage. Deeper buildings, up to 23 meters, can be made by building partly on top of it. The 5.4 grid is convenient for both the parking garage and the buildings. The plinth of every building is 4.5 meters high. Next to entrances of the individual buildings, it houses commercial spaces suitable for businesses and shops. Every building can have a direct entrance from the garage and a back door opening onto the communal garden.

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