Read an article about the project here
Since 2008, Marlies Rohmer has been the supervisor of the RI-OOST area on Zeeburgereiland. The urban design for the island, originally prepared by R&D (the city urban planning and sustainability agency), assumed that the buildings would be rather imposing designs. Marlies Rohmer proposed a more informal site layout, to allow for multiphase development by market participants. The varied ensemble gives rise to a lively district with “unity in diversity” as its leitmotif.
‘By choosing Marlies Rohmer in 2008, the Municipality effectively opted for a “wild” neighbourhood, unconstrained by official rules. It would make room for a lively atmosphere and for residential comfort. A bit of untidiness is not a problem, good outdoor spaces are obligatory, and ornaments are allowed.’
It is a plan for 2500 dwellings with associated facilities, such as primary schools, a high school and a (sports) park. The architectural ambition for RI-Oost is the realization of a lively and comfortable residential neighborhood.
A new residential district close to the centre of Amsterdam combines living comfort with informal, inviting public space. ‘Sportheldenbuurt’ will be a distinctive urban neighbourhood with a high density of housing and a mixed population. But the anonymity of the big city is avoided. Urban designer Marlies Rohmer, who also acted as supervisor, deployed various design tools to create a vibrant street culture.
Housing engages emphatically with public space. ‘Margin zones’ have been designed in front of each residential building. That is a 1.5-metre-wide strip where residents interact with public space without leaving their personal domain. Lots of attention was also devoted to balconies and terraces.
The Urban Sport Zone, with a big skate park as most spectacular element, and three redeveloped silos form the main eye-catchers. By contrast, streets and squares are calm in layout. The continuity of public space strengthens the cohesion between the various building blocks.
The municipality regularly organizes meet-ups with residents to discuss new developments and issues. Residents can share their ideas and give meaning to their surroundings in the process. Results are clearly demonstrable.