In 2010 architects space&matter and Marjolein Smeele brought together a group that put forth the winning concept for reimagining the site of the former de Ceuvel Volharding shipyard.
After winning the competition, which was announced by the municipality (Projectbureau Noordwaarts en Bureau Broedplaatsen) a whole team of experts developed the project to a highly innovative plan on the fields of urbanism, architecture and sustainability.
Because of the temporary,10-year nature of the development and the low budget, space&matter focused on developing an innovative concept where mobility and reuse are central. The design of the urban plan and community-driven nature of the project rapidly combine ‘waste’ land and ‘waste’ materials into something beautiful and valuable.
“This green oasis creates a new on-land harbor for secondhand house boats, which otherwise would have ended up in a junkyard,” said Glasl. As largely autarkic elements, the boats will be able to leave the site after ten years without much of a trace, leaving the land more valuable, biodiverse, and cleaner from pollutants.
The site, which is now heavily polluted, will feature imaginatively retrofitted houseboats placed around a winding bamboo walkway and surrounded by an undulating landscape of soil-cleaning plants designed by Delva Landscape architects. Each of the upgraded boats will house offices, ateliers, or workshops for creative and social enterprises.
In the press:
“De Ceuvel gives the impression of a utopia that has actually been accomplished,” – Prize selection committee of Frame Public Dutch Design Award
“The project is an example of Amsterdam’s commitment to urban experimentation” – New York Times / Chistopher F. Schuetze
“Wie niet beter weet zou denken dat een vloedgolf Amsterdam heeft getroffen” – de Volkskrant
“Het paradijs van Noord” – I Love Noord
“Klussen op De Ceuvel is absoluut geen straf, integendeel… ” – Hermen van der Waal
“Ceuvel Volharding. Meest indrukwekkende Broedplaats die ik ooit heb gezien.” – Floor Ziegler
“Havenschroot wordt hip” – Brabants Dagblad
“The design of the whole area is kind of positive for your brain” – Mark Kulsdom
“This is a playground for us to experiment in city development” – Sascha Glasl – Project leader De Ceuvel