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Waiting space becomes waiting place

Waiting space becomes waiting place

WeLoveTheCity has untangled the maze of infrastructure around Amstel Station. Pedestrians walk across the green and car-free station square to the historic station building by architect H.G.J. Schelling (1939). Cyclists park in the underground parking lot with 3,300 spots. If you arrive at the new bus and tram station, transferring to the metro and train is a piece of cake. And the car? That’s second best. The amount of asphalt has been roughly halved.

“The station shines again as it hasn’t in years. The building, a national monument dating from 1939, is visible again. No matter which way you come from, it’s clear what this place is all about.”

— Marc Kruyswijk, 12 juni 2019 in newspaper Parool

The space that became available was also used to build Amstel Tower, a 100-meter-high eye-catcher with 192 medium-price starter apartments and a hotel. Across the Julianalaan there are two urban blocks including 252 medium-price family apartments, a supermarket, restaurants and a creative incubator with ateliers. The city blocks ‘harvest’ more than 800 m3 of rainwater which is used for watering the roof gardens. The gardens reduce the urban heat stress in the area by an average of 2 degrees Celsius.

The office building on the Prins Bernhardplein is still an ugly obstacle. It has been agreed with the owner to demolish it. It will be replaced by two urban blocks with living, working and other services. As a result, the station square on the east side of the Amstel Station will be ready for the future.

And now it is the turn of the west side of the station. A second station hall and an underground bicycle storage facility with 4,500 spaces will be built here. This offers opportunities to redesign the fragmented public space into a pleasant pedestrian area with an open view towards the Amstel River. Real estate owners also see opportunities. In the coming years they will realize a mixed program here, including 1,300 to 2,100 new homes, of which 80% will be in the social and medium-price segment.

The redevelopment along the Amstel River is done with the “adaptive city block,” a new architectural typology. The adaptive city block forms the base of five new towers that are 78 to 136 meters high. It offers the possibility to integrate parts of the existing ‘brutalist’ offices from 1970 into the new building. It has a high plinth with public facilities that provides a sense of belonging and brings the public space to life. And last but not least, the adaptive city block generates its own sustainable energy. Efficient use of space, smart reuse, green and car-free and self-sufficient in the middle of Amsterdam: can it get any more sustainable!?!