Site A derelict plot along a canal in the centre of Amsterdam. A history of factories (Wiener & Co) and shipyards (Eastern India Shipping Co). Backdrop An economic crisis pushing the Amsterdam housing market into stagnation. Starring A perceptive municipal urbanist allergic to gated communities. A developer willing to try anything to get production going. A group of neighbours of the NIMBY persuasion. An architect desperate for work. A dried-up housingmarket with the exception of rich boat-owners. Summary The developer asks the architects what to build that will sail him out of the doldrums. The architects propose a row of canalhouses to target Amsterdam boat-owners seemingly unaffected by the crisis. The urbanist urges them to hush the neighbours protests by providing public access into the courtyard and to the canal. The architects provide a space for playing and swimming on one of the former shipways. The other – currently a parking lot - is turned into a public pocketpark. When the urbanist asks them to work with the site's history of shipways and the industrial architecture of successive centuries the developer thinks his clients – if any – will not like the use of “shipping materials” like corrugated iron and untreated timber panelling. The architect proposes a cladding of copper and zinc.
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