Over the Hill Behind the Gate

Buiksloterham in Noord is one of the fastest developing areas in Amsterdam. For example, the population near the Papaverweg almost doubled in the years between 2016 and 2018 (source allecijfers.nl). Formally an industrial area, it is being transformed into more of a residential area with a mix of housing and smaller businesses.

De Ceuvel , a sustainable incubator that temporarily hosts a thriving community of creative and social enterprises, build on a plot formerly used by a shipyard, is located in this area. The surrounding living areas are typical 100 years old garden villages and thus de Papaverhoek feels like a small idyllic island in the Johan van Hasselt canal between the garden villages and the (former) industrial area.

I love places like the Papaverhoek with its atmospheric light created by the surrounding water and greenery. There’s a nice amount of messiness and organized chaos, beautiful old buildings and garages, great colors in used materials like tiles and corrugated sheets and an overall feeling of freedom and surprise around every corner. It reminds me of an area like the Havenstraat with its rich contrasts that I Iike so much in an urban environment (see About).

Could it be possible to maintain these unique qualities and create a new residential area at the same time? An interesting fact is that there are still some explosives left from WW2 in the near vicinity. I imagined if one would go off, what would happen? Some buildings would collapse, other objects would shift and several would hold their grounds. New opportunities would present themselves.

If the mix is right, of old and new, activity and leisure, work and living, activity and stillness, residents and visitors, this could become a wonderful place for generations of city dwellers to come. With this idea in mind I researched the history, qualities, current obstacles and opportunities in this case study, which resulted in my vision and urban design for the “Ceuvel-area”.

    Would you like to receive our newsletter? (optional)

    Privacy Preferences

    When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

    Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
    Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
    Click to enable/disable video embeds.
    Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.