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Construction begins on Amsterdam’s Oostenburg island

April 3, 2019 Start contruction

Deputy Mayor Marieke van Doorninck (Spatial Development and Sustainability) was at the Amsterdam city centre island of Oostenburg yesterday to perform the symbolic deed of turning off the gas supply. The act marked the commencement of VORM and Steenwell’s transformation of Oostenburg’s old wharf into a residential neighbourhood of approximately 450 homes. The deputy mayor welcomed the new, sustainable development of an area that for centuries was dominated by industry. “This is a special moment for everyone that has been involved in this project to date. Now that construction has begun, Amsterdammers will be able to follow the neighbourhood’s transformation as it unfolds. This is also a special moment for the city. What for years was a site for the assembly of diesel engines will soon begin a new life as a sustainable residential neighbourhood. And what once possessed a large ecological footprint will soon boast a very small one. And that's wonderful, because the city of the future will be climate neutral and sustainable.”

Oostenburg Wharf (Stadswerf Oostenburg)
Oostenburg island constitutes one of Amsterdam’s last remaining subjects of inner-city redevelopment. Its wharf is located on the south-eastern side of the island, between the nineteenth-century monument that is the Van Gendthallen and the Oostenburgervaart canal. The plan for redevelopment retains the island’s industrial character and provides roughly 450 new homes and designated spaces for entrepreneurs. The designs by Paul de Ruiter Architects, Bastiaan Jongerius Architects and Ronald Janssen Architects herald a neighbourhood of striking visual contrasts with refined, industrial aesthetics. The variety of the designs and variance in building height and width will echo the city’s many expressions of its diversity and contribute to the neighbourhood’s itself. A finely judged combination of natural materials — such as brick, concrete, steel and wood — will be used to establish the singular presence of each building. The public space has been designed to amplify the feeling of being on an island. Consequently, there will be no visible distinction between the “sidewalks” and the remaining outdoor space. The neighbourhood will be traffic-restricted, and only accessible to residential traffic.

Healthy mix of rental and owner-occupied accommodation
The designs offer a variety of living spaces and a healthy mix of owner-occupied, social housing, mid-market and private sector rental accommodation, guaranteeing Stadswerf Oostenburg’s desirability to people and families at all stages of life. The neighbourhood will also help to address the high demand for accommodation within the city’s borders. To this end, it will offer roughly 277 sustainable rental apartments, of which 130 will constitute social housing; 29, mid-market rentals; and 118, high-end rentals. The Atrium Group and Syntrus Achmea Real Estate & Finance are on board as real estate investors in respect of the rental accommodation. The remaining accommodation consists of owner-occupied mid-market and luxury apartments. Van Wijnen are responsible for the project’s entire construction. The first homes are scheduled for accommodation in May 2020.

Stadswerf Oostenburg Ontwikkeling (SOO) is a joint venture between real estate developers Steenwell, based in Groningen, and VORM, based in Papendrecht. In transforming the site into a residential district, they will be working closely with consultants from BBN, which as the designated developer from procurement to the final handover of the completed development are responsible for the management of the project’s construction, technical details and finances. The Amsterdam-based architecture practices of Paul de Ruiter Architects, Bastiaan Jongerius Architects and Ronald Janssen Architects are responsible for the project’s designs. Public space design is by the joint team of urban design outfit Urhahn and landscape architects Dijk & co. The consortium is completed by construction company CAE, structural engineering consultants Cauberg Huygen and building services consultants Hiensch Engineering. Kristiaan Borret, university professor and chief architect of the Brussels-Capital Region, is the municipality’s appointed project supervisor and urban planner for this development.

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