Carre over the water
transformation from harbour to livingarea
At the end of the 1980s, plans to completely transform the islands in Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands into a residential area began to make real headway. Accomplished with verve, the PRO-scheme for Entrepot-West is in fact a radical correction of the model proposed by the local planning authority of a gigantic rectangular block straddling the water.
The main thrust of PRO's plan, an amended version of their invited competition-winning design, is to bridge the harbour basin in two places. One bridge, Entrepotbrug, is an undulating six-storey residential wall snaking across the water on stilts to the mainland. The other is a road bridge (part of J.C. van Eesterenweg) accompanied by development and accessing the eastern islands from Indische Buurt. 'The result is a residential building with the length of an intercity train and the height of an ocean liner. At last we have a sign of mutual acknowledgement between harbour and railway, after a century's indifference to one another'
Along Cruquiuslaan and Borneolaan, parallel to the harbour, stand less-tall housing blocks, as if left-overs of the quadrangle originally proposed by the planning authority. On either side of the winding ribbon pairs of urban villas occupy courtyards along the quays. A tall residential tower block next to the road bridge, the so-called 'water tower' of Entrepot-West (1991-1997) also care of atelier PRO, nails the entire scheme in place on the distinctive dividing line between land and water. Older features such as the customs building and the gate to the former cattle market along Cruquiusweg, are drawn into the plan to stitch the new-build to the existing texture of the city.
Awards and Nominatons
- Honourable Mention Concrete Award 1994
- 'Wohnüberbauung Entrepôt-West, Amsterdam',KS Neues, (1994), p36-44
- atelier PRO, 'Entrepot-West Housing', Process Architecture, nr 112 (1993), p66-69