A fictional research on the opportunities to prepare Amsterdam for the doubling of the amount of visitors in the future.
This projects takes part in the “Volksvlijt 2056” exhibition in the Public Library of Amsterdam. Open from april till august 2016.
In coorperation with Steven Broekhof.
Long queues at museum entrances, overflowing shopping streets, and traffic congestion caused by tourist coaches and multi-passenger bike pubs. Amsterdam, a city with fewer than 900,000 inhabitants, attracts over 17 million tourists every year. And owing to rising economic prosperity, that number is set to double over the next decade.
The city is too crowded, and the balance between inhabitants and tourists has been upset. Emotions run high. Urban life is slowly being driven out of the city, to be replaced by a tourist monoculture. Local traders are making way for chains of ice cream parlors and Tours & Tickets shops. Pressure groups are already talking about the dangers of what’s called the Venice effect and warn against the Disneyfication of the city center. They want to call a halt to this development. A ban on more hotels in the center has already come into effect.
The government is trying to spread tourism more widely by marketing the coastal resort of Zandvoort as Amsterdam Beach and promoting Muiderslot as Amsterdam Castle.
But that’s just a drop in the ocean. Visitors come for a maximum of three days and, in that short space of time, they all race through the same bucket list: Anne Frank House, the I Amsterdam sign, the Dam, the Van Gogh Museum, the Red Light District. All this is located in the historical city center within a radius of five kilometres.
Operation BYPASS calls for the intensification and growth of the inner city within the historic boundaries. When you consider the future of a city don’t just look at its inheritance, but above all to its potential. Instead of luring visitors to the outskirts of the city, the City Centre should be able to grow within its Historical Boundaries. This increases the capabilities and takes advantage of the opportunities the center has to offer. Amsterdam will get a new urbanity. By making incisions in the urban fabric new space arises. Referring to an old heart which needs a bypass operation to be able to stay alive. Today there are many places where the city is clogging. Constructing by-passes will solve this, adding new streets will provide a better blood flow. The new buildings that accompany these new streets offer additional space for both visitors and residents.
Today Amsterdam mainly represents the city of the seventeenth century, but the city will not remain in this manner. To be a metropolis the city should be able to grow to satisfy its social needs. Amsterdam shouldn’t only tell the story of the past, but mainly today’s story.
The Eighteen streets – To reduce the pressure on the nine streets the
number of streets will be doubled. New streets, parallel to the existing
streets will be built in the middle of the existing housing blocks.
This will enable a doubling of the existing stores and dwellings for
residents and visitors. By connecting to new bridges this will also
increase the flow of the city.
The Alleys of the Red Light District – In order to reduce the pressure on the
Red light district, the amount of alleys will be duplicated here. New alleys,
will cross the existing housing blocks. This will increase the existing capacity
of the area for visitors, but also restores the balance between visitors and
resident, by adding a considerable number of houses. In addition,
the new alleys will increase the flow-through of the area.
Courtyard structure along the Damrak – To release the pressure of
the damrak and restore the balance of the the now mono-functional
area only used by visitors, the existing vacant floors above the stores
will be made accessible and will get expanded by a new courtyard
Installation in the void of the public library in Amsterdam
Museum square, waiting in line for van Gogh museum
Amsterdam is so sparing with its cultural heritage that we almost
forget how uninhabitable the city would have become if it had rejected
every change. In the past, splendid canals and town houses have
disappeared to make way for buildings that we now consider national
monuments. The Raadhuisstraat arose in 1895 after draining the
Warmoesgracht and widening of de Huiszittensteeg.
The capacity of the Stedelijk museum is enhanced by
an extension to the existing building, In time the extension
is replaced by a newer, larger expansion.
In 1907 the municipality decided to widen the Vijzelstraat from 8 to
22 meters. In 1926 the demolition of the buildings between Keizers-
gracht and Prinsengracht started. The buildings that arose, such as
“De Bazel” is now a World Heritage Site.