Scale: Small / Urban Architecture
Team representative: Architects, Urban planner
Site family:
Location: H-buurt, Amsterdam
Population: Amsterdam: 835.000
Study area: 36 Ha
Project site: 2,9 Ha

Site provided by: City of Amsterdam
Actor(s) involved: City of Amsterdam
Owner(s) of the site: City of Amsterdam
Prizes: 1st Prize €12,000, Runner-up €6,000, Special mentions


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.


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.

  1. The main assignment is on the project site. Here the Hakfort parking building is currently under review by the municpality and awaiting decision if it will be demolished and replaced by an alternative building typology and functional mix in which living and working can coexist. The assignment is to propose an architectural design that replace the Hakfort parking building. A second parking building also be demolished and redeveloped. This creates opportunities to propose a new cluster of buildings on the project site, in which low-end productivity can be fostered and encouraged. We look forward to see solutions that can start a new vision of combination between urbanity and productivity. This includes other investment flows, perhaps a different economy, a different architecture and a different future.
  2. The assignment also requires a seduction strategy to attract developers and private investment. In the current development model, the municipality would like to partner with developers to find new ways to safeguard strategies that can protect and nurture inclusive urban development. The municipality desires to create a mixed-use neighbourhood that can support the low-income economy. Therefore, the proposed typology needs to address the issue of cost effectiveness through its functional organisation, programmatic innovation and construction logic. Resourcefulness is required. Flexible building construction, options for expanding residences or business spaces at a later point in time, cheap building methods; these are just a few of the options which could help make the project financially viable. What type of work and living spaces could be considered desirable for the developers? Can the revenue generated by the housing lead to affordable workspaces? Or can the building(s) be designed by considering different built qualities within the building to achieve overall cost-effectiveness?
  3. The public space can play a role in enhancing the productivity while making it visible and promoting social cohesion. The demand is for a vision that connects the building volumes to the public space. The intention is for the public space to play a role in the productivity of the neighbourhood. Consider, for example, vegetable gardens, of which the harvest can be sold in the new buildings and surroundings. The well-used and socially important playground must be incorporated in the design. The social safety of the slow-moving traffic routes – pedestrians and cyclists – that run through the area are also an important point for the municipality. Proposals for this must be included in the design.