Klein Kadoelen is the development of a small residential area on a former factory site in Amsterdam North. A beautiful location, hidden in the district, between the metropolitan developments on the IJ on the one hand and the unique ‘Waterland’ to the north of Amsterdam on the other.
The location offers a beautiful view of the Wilmkebreekpolder, a reclaimed meadow landscape, a valuable nature reserve in the middle of the city district. The primary aim is to integrate this residential area into the existing urban context in a natural, sustainable way.
The Landsmeerderdijk has existed for almost a thousand years. The Wilmkebreekpolder has been around for almost 600 years. Such a new residential area must also last for centuries. Therefore, it must fit into the existing structure, follow the original lines. What is striking is that the site is at the same time very open and very private: it is lower than the dike. But in the design the area opens up in all directions: the dike, the polder, the Kadoelenweg. So the district only has fronts. That is a special ambiguity: closed, but clearly part of the bigger picture. The area will not be an enclave, but will be easily accessible and it will have an inviting public outdoor space with a high-quality stay on the dike, in the neighborhood and of course on the polder.
We looked closely at villages in the vicinity. There you sometimes see small alleys between houses, which suddenly open up to the landscape. We have also applied this in Klein Kadoelen. By opening up the deep plots between Kadoelenweg and the polder with intermediate streets and alleys, surprising backyards and intimate living spaces are created. The structure of the district has an organic appearance. As if it originated like that. You will feel that when you walk through the neighborhood and discover unexpected spaces or homes from smaller streets. ”
The layout of the public space is subdivided into three spheres. The quay, streets / square & courtyards and alleys. The long line of the quay makes it possible to walk along the polder and will be used both as a lounge and as a continuous walking route. The quay is the place where people can experience the polder optimally. To soften the transition from the polder to the Kiekensterrein, bank planting with characteristic trees are placed against the quay. Leafy lounges are being set up along the quay through the targeted placement of trees.
The “streets” form the main access to the Kiekensterrein, which has been set up as a yard. The optical narrowing of the overall profile creates a driving line that is separated from the margin zones. The square, together with the quay, is the main place to stay in the area. The square will be shaded
with large trees, semi-pavement and a hard stone sitting edge all around. An individual identity is created by this materialization, which is subtly reflected in the other layout of the plan.
The public courts all have an intimate character and will differ subtly from each other. Shaped fences, hedges and water contribute to exciting contrasts between open, closed, private and public. In order to guarantee social safety and to ensure liveliness in the squares, as many residential entrances as possible will be located on the square space. The alleys form the entrances to the green courts. The alleys are framed by the facades or hedges of the adjacent lots.
Other designers involved in the design of landscape (architects and landscape architects): Houben/Van Mierlo Architecten
Project location: Landsmeerdijk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Design year: 2016 – 2020
Year Built: 2020