Scale: mall / Urban Architecture
Team representative: Architects, Urbanist
Location: Transformatorweg, Amsterdam
Population: Amsterdam: 835.000
Study area: 9.40 Ha
Project site: 2.16 Ha
Site provided by: City of Amsterdam
Actor(s) involved: City of Amsterdam, Mediacollage
Owner(s) of the site: City of Amsterdam
Prizes: 1st Prize €12,000, Runner-up €6,000, Special mentions
The location Transformatorweg is part of one of the (five) blocks of the planning area Sloterdijk I South. Despite the various port-related activities, the area has a mono-functional character with a strong emphasis on the car. There are very few examples of intensive urban development. The study area is bordered by rail tracks and private allotments in the south, undefined green space to the east. But change is coming. The highway to the north will be re-profiled and light-industrial buildings in the west will be replaced by mixed-use residential neighbourhood. As it stands, the area feels like a ‘non-place’. This is the fundamental challenge set by the competition.
WHAT IS CITY STRATEGY FOR THE AREA?
The site is located in Sloterdijk 1 development plan, an area in the eastern part of Amsterdam’s Port-City where in the long term, 40,000 homes will be built by 2040. The municipality wants to transform and convert this area into a coherent mixed-use urban district. Initially, the municipality is focusing on the area between Transformatorweg and railway tracks which will, over time, become a mix of living, working, educational and commercial facilities. The municipality wants to develop the area together with the existing owners and users. The first steps in this collaboration process has just started. 4,500 new homes will be realised in Sloterdijk 1 by 2025.
MAIN QUESTIONS AND COMPETITION ASSIGNMENT
- Provide an architectural design for the project site, which balances the expansion ambitions of the Mediacollege, and those of the municipality who wish to intensify its location. The proposal should add living and working program, which helps to ensure that the location can function as a gateway for Sloterdijk.
- The project site consists of two plots. The Mediacollege is located on one plot; the undeveloped land between the Mediacollage and Transformatorweg, owned by the municipality, is the second plot. The advantage of two separate ownerships is that buildings can be developed independently. With mutual agreement for the coordination and construction, the continuing functioning of the Mediacollege can be assured. The second advantage is that the two plots together provide opportunities for a better interpretation of the site’s potential in its entirety. For example, housing (student housing or for other groups) may be situated above the education building, and there could be larger flexibility for developing the new additions in phases. Programs can be temporary relocated so long as the Mediacollege, as an institution, can continue to function. Attention should be paid to the fact that the Mediacollege’s current building is still relatively new.The phasing of new additions and various development scenarios should be clearly argued and represents a final image of the design proposal. There is a need to overcome possible tensions between the two stakeholders, by proposing an effective, inspiring and convincing end image of a combined realisation that can benefit both parties.
- On the study area, a vision of the public space is demanded in relation to the Transformatorweg location design. It is expected that work includes an analysis of how the site can function better as a gateway for Sloterdijk I. Designers are asked to illustrate their design proposals respecting existing conditions. Currently Contactweg is strongly focused on car traffic. A vision of an attractive public space is required that can function as a place to stay. Car and bicycle traffic (including parking provisions) must still continue to be able to make use of the street.The study area is bordered by different conditions to the north, south, east and west and each border condition presents both challenges and opportunities. For example, how might the plinth of future mainly residential buildings to the west be orientated and/or designed to enhance business synergies with the Mediacollege? To the north, the city is busy with a new framework plan that will narrow the profile of Contactweg, releasing land for more park-like spaces. What role could these spaces have? To the east, there are opportunities to connect to Amsterdam’s famous Westerpark.