Pushing the Flavor of a City out to Sea


several bicycles lined up again railway overlooking canal

Like many cities, Amsterdam is repurposing trade ports to meet the demands of population growth.

When West 8 Architects was commissioned to come up with the master plan for the trade port district of Borneo/Sporenburg, they wanted to maintain some of the features that make Amsterdam so special:

The water as a street

The inland waterways in the city once provided protection from invaders but now are a form of transportation and recreation.

canal in Amsterdam, with multiple colorful boats aligned on both sides
A dynamic streetscape

While West 8 provided the master plan, individual architects were brought in to design each unit. This led to a cohesive streetscape but one that is not monotonous.

The “Private Realm”

Personal outdoor space was important consideration but given the row-house organization, a yard for each unit was not feasible. Therefore each unit has a varied location of outdoor space (shown below in the diagram, where outdoor space is shown in black) be it a patio, balcony, or roof terrace. This also contributes to a dynamic streetscape.

diagram of housing space in Amsterdam