Amsterdam Urban Design 2020

In January the municipality of Amsterdam published the book Amsterdam Urban Design. Work in Progress 2020. This voluminous work outlines all major urban development and densification plans of the past five to ten years in and around Amsterdam. Never before has such an overview of more than 50 projects been bundled and provided with perspectives. One of those highlighted projects: ‘our’ station area Hilversum. Other highlights featuring De Zwarte Hond: public transport hub Sloterdijk Centrum (mixed-use building MoTown) and the waterfronts Overhoeks (residential building The Cube) and NDSM (strategic overview BMB plots).

Station area Hilversum
The new urban plan for the Hilversum station area, part of the Metropolitan Region Amsterdam, reconnects the historic city centre with the train station and enlivens the surrounding area. Our concept carefully extends the qualities of the historic centre towards the station to both reintegrate the station zone and the eastern part of Hilversum with the city centre. The plan celebrates Hilversum’s distinguishing traits, namely its village greens, lively streets, varied roof styles, rounded corners, restricted building heights and local vegetation. This will give visitors the feeling they are truly arriving at the heart of Hilversum. The area will be more than just a transport hub and will invite extended stays. The transformation will be an impetus for Hilversum to blossom as the regional centre of ‘t Gooi.

Sloterdijk Centrum: MoTown
Mixed-use building MoTown – located next to train and bus station Amsterdam-Sloterdijk – is a building that stimulates social interaction, designed on the concept of ‘people attract people’. The shape of the building, the communal gardens and the outdoor areas ensure that you meet other people and want to stay. The connection to ground level and the format of the plinth have been designed to create interaction. Moreover, catering facilities, entrepreneurship and culture ensure the essential vitality in the area. The design conforms to the urban context of the plans previously developed for Sloterdijk Centrum.

Overhoeks: The Cube
Residential building The Cube has a central position in the urban development plan for the Overhoeks neighbourhood in the north of Amsterdam. The 11,000 m2 complex forms a solid wall adjacent to the centrally-located green area. It is built using luxurious materials, with an abundance of natural light and wonderful views. The building comprises four stepped segments constructed with blocks with a grid size of 8.1 metres that are also staggered. The highest volume is visually aligned with the IJ and this immediately creates a prominent landmark. This design gives the large building a spacious aura, whereby it elegantly merges with its surroundings.

NDSM: transformation former shipyard
The city of Amsterdam is developing the site of the former NDSM shipyard into a new urban district with housing, businesses, offices, schools and neighbourhood amenities. On behalf of real estate developer BMB, Jeroen de Willigen, partner at De Zwarte Hond and also city architect of Groningen, monitors the overall urban quality for all BMB plots on the site and maintains a coherent vision across the development. With ambitious transformations like this one, it is vital that stakeholders take a wider view beyond their own projects: every project has its own role in the development and contributes to the larger system of the city. With De Willigen’s input, De Zwarte Hond is working to facilitate a good dialogue between the stakeholders, improve coordination within the entire area and implement a richer design process to fully optimise the immense potential of the NDSM site.