News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





City centre is moving north

22 June 2006 – The city centre of Amsterdam is expanding to the north, making the railway station a real central station. The city itself is becoming increasingly fragmented, claims a publication on new architecture in the capital.

Zuidas, North/South Line, Parkstad, IJburg, IJ Waterfront: Amsterdam is changing rapidly. It is therefore very nice that Amsterdam Centre for Architecture (ARCAM) has brought together the most important new architecture of the past three years in a richly illustrated pocket book. The booklet is quite up to date: the aerial photos were made only last month.

Recently, Bernard Hulsman wrote in NRC Handelsblad that there is a new school in architecture, that he calls neo-expressionism. Buildings in this style look as if they have been moulded. The photos in the ARCAM-pocket form an illustration of his theory.

The recipe is simple: “take a box, cut in, according to taste, some notches or even a hole, add some bulges, et voilà”, there you have your neo-expressionist building. Sometimes architects refer implicitly to the Amsterdam School, sometimes they do so explicitly. This source of inspiration probably also explains the popularity of bricks and austere rows of windows.

The ARCAM booklet contains an introductory essay by architecture critic Roemer van Toorn, who is rather pessimistic about how the city develops. In Berlage’s time, the public interest guided urban planning; today, however, the market has gained the upper hand.

Beautiful buildings are still being made, Van Toorn says, but they no longer form part of a larger plan. In it’s place, a fragmented and segregated city is emerging, with the rich living in gated communities.

In an afterword, ARCAM’s director Maarten Kloos says that the city centre is moving north. For decades, the citizens of Amsterdam have complained that the central station was separating the city centre from the water, but as a result of new projects around the IJ, the centre is expanding. The station is becoming a real central station, with a second front oriented to Amsterdam North.

West and east of the station, and across the IJ, a new centre area is created, with the Muziekgebouw concert hall, the Film Museum, and the new Law Courts. As far as Kloos is concerned, a ‘fierce confrontation’ will come about between culture and port; between metropolitan facilities and shipping on the IJ.

Marlies Buurman en Maarten Kloos (eds), Amsterdam Architecture 2003 – 2006. ISBN 9076863466, 19,50 euro.

Borneodriehoek, Indische buurt (Herman Zeinstra, 2005). “A striking characteristic of the project is its transparency and the supple way in which, with modern devices, it fits in with the character and articulation of the neighbouring buildings”.

Health Care and Welfare Institute, Free University, De Boelelaan (Jeanne Dekkers, 2006). “In order to give expression to the humane character of this branch of education, a volume with flowing lines was chosen. This also produces a sharp contrast with the surrounding rectangular architecture of the other university buildings and the offices in the neighbouring Zuidas area”.


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here

This is the old website. Please find new content here