From a neighbourhood centre to an urban-level centre – that was the aim of the transformation of Osdorpplein in Amsterdam Nieuw West. The Amsterdam Nieuw West district is a rapidly growing part of Amsterdam. Centrum Nieuw West is being developed into the economic heart of the New West district. The area has received a huge facelift, housing has been built and a new leisure and shopping program has been added.
From a neighborhood centre to an urban-level centre
Osdorpplein, an important square in this part of town, does not immediately have associations with sheep and lambs. After all, we are talking about Amsterdam Nieuw West, the district with the most inhabitants in Amsterdam, an area that will continue to grow to 200,000 in the coming years. But one of the first things landscape architect Van Hees did was to put the fountain with the artwork of sheeps “de Schaapjes” on its deserved pedestal: the ambition may be an urban appearance, but that need not be at the expense of a place’s identity.
The square is Osdorpplein, which in practice consists of a residential and shopping area with several squares connected by narrow shopping streets. Through a quality impulse, the centre should become the economic heart of Amsterdam Nieuw West; a place where everyone feels at home and where there is something for everyone. This means expansion and renewal, more space for affordable housing, a place for theatre De Meervaart, a new canal with bridges and a longer promenade along the water.
Street furniture creates experience
Street furniture was an important part of the district’s transformation. Each square or street was given an appropriate solution. The design of the street furniture was coordinated in a collaboration between the client, the municipality of Amsterdam, Van Hees and supplier Grijsen. The existing furniture in the surrounding areas, in particular the south-west bank of the Sloterplas, was included.
Bespoke solutions for every location
A six-metre-diameter stage at Osdorpplein was a bespoke solution for this location. A beautiful eye-catcher. The 18-metre-long bench on a natural stone planter near a supermarket a bit further down was also a suitable solution to create a green recreational space. Grijsen park and street design designed these solutions. The quality of the materials chosen and the workmanship meet the highest standard. Before the furniture is installed, all elements are assembled in the workshop and carefully checked before being placed on site.
Visible high quality
The city district’s project manager stresses that it is clever how the public space has been transformed. “Because of urbanisation, the area of public space has become smaller and with it the subsoil has become more compact. While there was a requirement for getting more green, so it was difficult. But it worked well to bring back the big story of more unity, more greenery and the high-quality look.”
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Client: City of Amsterdam, district Nieuw West
Landscape architect: Bieke van Hees
Design office: StaLa (Jacco Jansen)
Location: Amsterdam, district Nieuw West, Osdorpplein
Photo credits: Sonny Krosenbrink