Urban Concept & Architecture

Urban concept

Site in Amsterdam Noord

Site 'De Ceuvel'

Step 1: Cleaning plants get planted in poisoned ground

Step 2: Secondhand houseboats are placed in the garden

Step 3: Plants are growing

Step 4: A boardwalk connects all boats

Step 5: After ten years the boats leave a cleaner site

The boardwalk

Urban plan

The boardwalk

Boardwalk construction

The boats get picked up

New construction

New insulation and cladding

Solar panels and a green roof

The first boat got picked up



Boat 1



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. Each of the upgraded boats will house offices, ateliers, or workshops for creative and social enterprises. Space&matter and Metabolic Lab are now leading the design and technical outfitting of the first boat retrofit, together with construction foreman and boat expert Huib Koel. The boat retrofitting process, for which the group is relying on and therefore seeking volunteer assistance, will be publicly visible at NDSM wharf in Amsterdam North from April to September of 2013. The boats will be placed on the de Ceuvel site in September 2013.

(The urban concept, urban design and architectural design at ‘de Ceuvel’ is done by space&matter)