Amsterdam H-Buurt (NL)

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Project Scale S - Urban architecture

Location H-Buurt, Amsterdam

Population Amsterdam 835,000 inhab.; District 7,500 inhab.

Strategic site 36 ha – Project site 2.9 ha

Site proposed by City of Amsterdam

Actors involved Gemeente Amsterdam

Owner of the site Gemeente Amsterdam

Post-competition phase Assignment to make urban design guidelines for the project site and urban plan

Team representative architect, urban planner

More Information

How can the site contribute to the productive city?

On this location, traditional light manufacturing industries such as a car wash and bakery already exist. These can stay, but a more comprehensive exploration of productivity is asked for in the competition. These ideas are needed in order to create a meaningful social and economic place in the city, which despite a recent influx of new residents it remains characterized by relatively high unemployment and high poverty. There is a need to attract private investment and from the perspective of the city, this be can achieved by proposing good design that is innovative and financially feasible.

City strategy

The site is located in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost, an area characterized by mono-functional residential neighbourhoods and office undergoing transformation. High-rise residential buildings have been demolished and replaced by new blocks with a more human scale. Before the financial crisis, the municipality subsidised socially inclusive projects. In the current development model, the city would like to partner with developers to find new ways to safeguard strategies that can protect and nurture inclusive urban development. There is a desire to change the mono-functional area into mixed live/work neighbourhood that can foster the low-income economy.

Site definition 

The H-Buurt is a small community of about 7500 inhabitants and is one of the districts of the Bijlmer, which was built in the 1960s following the functional ideas of CIAM and Le Corbusier that proposed to separate working areas from residential areas. Today, the neighbourhood is characterised by a mix of 1960s high-rise buildings and 1980s low-rise buildings set within a landscape with mature trees, areas of water and open spaces for parks. Traces of the CIAM philosophy on mobility still exist: cars, bicycles and pedestrians are clearly separated. The area has good connections to the city centre by Amsterdam’s metro line and has good connections to the city periphery by car, bus and bicycle.

How is Production Considered in the Urban Diversity Program?

On the project site, the Hakfort parking building will be demolished and replaced by an alternative building typology and functional mix in which living and working can coexist. There is an urgent need to propose cheap building solutions in order to attract private developers to engage in this project. Therefore, the proposed typology needs to address the issue of cost effectiveness through its functional organisation, programmatic innovation and construction logic. It will be wise to supplement the skills in the design team with knowledge of local business ecologies, construction costs and social geography.
A second parking building will also be demolished and redeveloped, giving opportunities to propose a new cluster of buildings, in which low-end productivity should be encouraged and reinforced from the bottom up. The public space can play a role in enhancing the productivity while making it visible and promote social cohesion. The 1960s design principles of separating functions have led to problems in social safety. For example, building plinths, elevated streets, under-passes etc. need special attention. On the study area, the municipality is seeking prototypical ideas to improve connectivity, way-finding, safety and general well-being. The theme of productivity can animate the use of public spaces.

Parking building Hakvoort (will be demolished)
Park next to the Abcouderpad
View from IMO Carwash Hakfort
courtyard Heesterveld student housing

Questions on the site

We have a question about what to do with the car parking? We do remove all of the existing parking and parking houses and we do add new housing. Would it be allowed to add parking garages under ground?

Yes, it is allowed, but it is also expensive.

In the brief, we cannot find any specification about the ideal size for the building; does it have a minimum or maximum floor requirement? Or a max. or min. number of apartments?

There is no plan yet, so therefore no minimum or maximum requirements.

Should we take the Bestemmingsplan into consideration for design specifications?

No, the zoning plan will be adjusted

We would like to ask information on the type of the apartments; are we aiming for rental apartments or apartments for sale? Unless do we have the chance to make such a choice ourselves? This makes a big influence on the area's dynamics.

No decision is made yet, but the housing advisors of the city advise to aim for middle class (rent and/or private property housing)

Would it be possible to provide us with plan material concerning the existing buildings (parking garages, apartment buildings, high-rises, etc.) in order to understand and fully utilize the existing situation?

There is no plan yet

Is there a map available that shows ownership of the structures/plots of both strategic and project sites?

A new pdf with site ownership is added to the strategic site folder.

When was the last time the apartment blocks were renovated?


Is there information on the capacity of the site for storing water during exceptionally wet periods of time?

Their are two big water storages present. The exact capacity is not available now, but also during exceptionally wet periods there are no problems known nor foreseen in this area.

Could you provide us with building plans (floor plans, sections etc.) of the garages, high-rises and smaller structures around the assigned strip?

There are no building plans available.

This site is connected to the following theme

From City to Productive City
How to Create Vibrant Productive Districts with Craftmen, Makers & Local Production?

How to Create Vibrant Productive Districts with Craftmen, Makers & Local Production?

Every city would like to be diversified. Yet standard approaches to create “vibrant communities” summon an imagery of housing, offices, cafés and restaurants. But, is that enough? Shouldn’t we also instil liveliness in an existing neighbourhood by fostering productive activities? Could this option also be viable in the case of bedroom communities? What does production mean for creative- and knowledge-based industries? What economic balance is necessary to retain productive activities as the area improves and prices rise?

Specific documents

Questions on the site

Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers

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