Scale: Large – Urban and architectural
Team representative: Architect, Urban Planner or Landscape Architect
Location: Piarcoplein, Amsterdam
Population: Amsterdam: 835.000
Study area: 10,2 Ha
Project site: 1.86 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
Piarcoplein is currently a ‘park and ride’ area; it’s a place where cars are parked for long periods. For people who live in this region of Amsterdam, this is a convenient place to park their car and then travel by public transport either to the airport or to the city centre. Piarcoplein is the least attractive place in Sloterdijk Centrum. The site is both framed and trapped by streets, privatized open spaces and elevated train and metro tracks. The area currently lacks liveliness. The combination of cars on the ground and the bundles of roads, and regional and local transport infrastructure make the area feel like a non-place. And due to the lack of social control there is regular (minor) crime e.g. car burglary.
WHAT IS CITY STRATEGY FOR THE AREA?
The long-term strategy is to transform Sloterdijk Centrum from a monofunctional business area into a vibrant, mixed-use urban quarter. Recently, redundant offices have been converted to hotels, student housing, short stay accommodation, retail and other amenities. These changes have been guided by some of the most flexible zoning policies in the Netherlands. Sloterdijk Centrum’s location mid-way between Schiphol international airport and the city centre helps to ensure that it will continue to be a dynamic area. There is no clear final image in sight but the large amount of infrastructure will remain a given.
MAIN QUESTIONS AND COMPETITION ASSIGNMENT
- First and foremost, there is a requirement to put the Piarcoplein on the map by proposing an original, inspirational idea. Quality and sustainability, mobility, and production are key words that are of importance to the municipality. There is considerable space for a design proposals within the strict delineations of the project site. Proposals can range from public space design, temporary additions, small scale buildings or other options. Is it imaginable to consider building? And if so, should these buildings be higher than the elevated train tracks? In the long term, what are the chances for proposing larger building volumes within the project site? Ideas are expected to enhance productivity or to show-case the productive qualities of the surroundings.
- The assignment asks for scenarios regarding car mobility at this location, in relation to the region and Amsterdam. The expectation is that the role of the car will change in time. In the city, the possession of cars is already significantly decreasing. The question is whether this will also apply to areas in the greater Amsterdam region, from which residents use Sloterdijk Station as a hub to transfer to public transportation. It’s also important to consider the way in which future car parking is given form on Piarcoplein. The stacking of parking spaces, for example, is an option. Design solutions are expected that address the evolution of mobility and parking. The current number of P+R parking spaces is 196.
- On the project site it is important to consider the connections and public routes that pass through and around the site to and from Sloterdijk Station. At the street level, the human scale must be reintroduced. It is a matter in which the “city at eye-level” takes central stage. The expected increased usage of the infrastructure surrounding the station can both be an obstacle and an opportunity. At street level, provisions must be made for adequate drop-off areas for cars and touring buses. The following types of visitors must also be considered: pedestrians, many, many, cyclists, scooters, tourists, cars, touring cars/buses, disabled persons, elderly, children, and so on.
- At the scale of the study area, the task is to consider How can these groups be received in a more welcome and friendly atmosphere. An innovative vision for the soft programming of the open areas is expected. Proposals are expected to create meaningful connections between the three main squares around the station ( Piarcoplein, Orlyplein and Carrascoplein) to improve the user experience for visitors and residents. In the area surrounding Sloterdijk Station, the focus, concerning the public space, has, until now, primarily and successfully, been on temporariness. The question is whether that approach should be continued, or whether other solutions, that incorporate more permanent features such as water and greenery could be considered.