Amsterdam’s famous canal district celebrated its 400th birthday this year. And though the district has grown and evolved throughout the centuries, now, more than ever before, this UNESCO World Heritage site is struggling with how to ensure the past doesn’t hold a vice-like grip on its future.
For Jarrik Ouburg, an Amsterdam architect, the problem was more specific: in such a historic district, how do you keep urban transformations from slowing to a stop? This question eventually led him to his ongoing project, “Tussen-ruimte.” Tussen-ruimte (Dutch for ‘between space’) installs pieces of contemporary art and architecture in the hidden alleys and courtyards that have formed over years of building in the canal district.
The Waag Society, together with designer and software engineer Bert Spaan, have put the Netherlands back on the map – the data map. After several months of coding and design, the partnership has managed to account for all 9,866,539 buildings in the country, visualized in varying colors to identify old and new buildings. After a user clicks on a specific block, additional building and city information displays square footages, addresses, populations and programs, among other stats. Users can navigate from Amsterdam to the Hague experiencing hundreds of years of urban development along the way, from the pre-1800s to post-2005 buildings, indicated by the red to blue gradient.
Did you know that there are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands? And, up to 70% of all commutes are made by bike in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague. To accommodate such a huge number of bike-enthusiasts, bike parking facilities can be found everywhere – outside schools, office buildings and shops. Not to mention the fact that many Dutch cities even have special bike paths that are completely segregated from motorized traffic with signs that read “Bike Street: Cars are guests.” Read this BBC article to learn why the Dutch are so bike crazy and find out Why Cycle Cities Are the Future here on ArchDaily.
Architects: Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos
Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Principals: Antonio Cruz, Antonio Ortiz
Project Architects: Muriel Huisman, Thomas Offermans
Project Team: Tirma Reventós, Oscar García de la Cámara, Marije Ter Steege, Alicia López, Juan Luis Mayén, Clara Hernández, Ana Vila, Victoria Bernícola, Jan Kolle, Sara Gutiérrez, Marta Pelegrín, Iko Mennenga, Joaquin Pérez, Lourdes Gutierrez, Carlos Arévalo
Area: 30000.0 sqm
Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute, Myra May, Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Jannes Linders, Duccio Malagamba