WEDNESDAY MARCH 13, 2013 Eastern Docklands & Zwarts + Jansma Architects

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by Stephanie Erwin

On the agenda today, was to visit the old district of Zeeburg in Amsterdam, now apart of Amsterdam-Oost. Formerly an industrial shipping area along the Ij, these islands have been redeveloped into modern neighborhoods complete with art in the landscape, multi-modal transportation streets and retail shops. We all were looking forward to seeing West 8’s three red bridges in Borneo-Sporenburg.

Vince, Nate, Elissa and I decided to take the bus to Zeeburg that is on the north west side of Amsterdam. Unfortunately, the first bus appeared to speed up as it passed us, standing under the appropriate bus stop sign. We walked to the next stop and waited 30 more minutes before we were warm and on our way. We arrived to a cafe for a cup of warm tea and a presentation by Vince. Cynthia told us about the historic and cultural significance of the Lloyd Hotel, next to the café. We split up to explore the neighborhoods and to document our findings.

Zeeburg was a borough of Amsterdam and is now comprised of Java and KNSM Island, Borneo-Sporenburg docklands. I mainly explored Borneo-Sporenburg that was designed by West 8 to be a low-rise, high-density residential neighborhood. The massing and the rhythm of the buildings are reminiscent of the area’s historic land use, shipping yards. Bornero, the more residential of the two docklands, was very interesting because its rowhouse typology and distribution of public/private space.

After exploring the Zeeburg area, we headed over to the ZJA office for presentations from Bosch & Slabbers, Sjef Jansen, OKRA, and Robbert de Koning. Each presentation was informative and inspirational. Afterwards, we mingled and had drinks.

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by Eric Gunderson

The day began with a 15 minute walk to the Utrecht Centraal train station. We were heading towards Amsterdam for the day to experience the Zeeburg neighborhood. One of the newest additions to Amsterdam, Zeeburg’s islands add new space to an old city. The project began in the 1990’s and has only recently been finished.

Exiting the Amsterdam Centraal station to the north, an exit seldom taken by most tourists, we found ourselves with panoramic views of the Amsterdam Harbor on the the River IJ (pronounced ‘eye’). The IJ flows into Amsterdam from the east through the Marker Lake, and the harbor continues westward along the North Sea Canal (completed in 1876) which inks Amsterdam to North Sea. The Zeeburg neighborhoods of Sporenburg, Borneo, Java Island, and KNSM Island make up a majority of the area.

The new neighborhood offered several different sensory experiences. Java and KNSM Islands were much denser at 450 units per hectare while Borneo had roughly 250 units per hectare. The density of Borneo had a much more traditional Amsterdam feel in terms of streetscape and scale.