07 March, 2008
The Docklands and the Borneo Sporenburg project
The Burneo Sporenburg project is the name of the masterplan that was put by west8. This amazing masterplan on the newly formed docklands in Amsterdam put some restrictions on what can or cannot be built on the site. A residential brief of 2500 dwellings was set for this zone, dictating a high density of housing, despite the predominant market demand for a suburban self-contained house. The development demonstrates that family housing is not incompatible with dense urban areas. It reverses the predominant social trend towards a dense urban core inhabited by childless couples, singles and the extremes of high and low income, and a suburban fringe occupied by middle-class families.
Over than a 100 architects started working on this project under these rules.In which a generous private outdoor space, a secure parking space, safety and individuality were to be given to these houses. Each architect was to take on a small family housing unit and design it to their own taste. which created an amazing atmosphere of architectural experiments with materials and forms despite the restrictions.
One of the main design factors that attracted me, was the ability of the architects to maintain their vision of transparency through large glass panels. They were able to do so because of the cultural variable of Amsterdam. People seemed to feel comfortable in their own houses despite having people walk by their houses and look through the large glass panels. I don't think this would have worked anywhere else other than Holland. So an architect should always know the kind of people, he is building for and what kind of cultural background they come from as well.