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Stuck With an Old Sewage Plant? Remake the Neighborhood

Urban planners in Amsterdam had a problem: What to do with three old silos, from a derelict sewage treatment plant? So they held a competition to re-imagine the site. The winning entry is a multi-story cultural center that transforms an eyesore into an icon that is visible from nearly anywhere in the surrounding area.

Amsterdam Silo Re-imagining

Urban planners in Amsterdam had a problem: What to do with three old silos, from a derelict sewage treatment plant? So they held a competition to re-imagine the site. The winning entry is a multi-story cultural center that transforms an eyesore into an icon that is visible from nearly anywhere in the surrounding area.

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Amsterdam Silo Re-imagining

The site is located in the fast-growing suburb of Zeeburg, which had once been an industrial fringe. The new proposal turns the silos into a mixed-use series of buildings that includes a theater, a restaurant, an exhibition space, and shops. The roof includes a dramatic, open-air playground. It’s slated for completion in 2011, and will be named after Annie MG Schmidt, Holland’s most famous children’s author, who grew up in the district.

Amsterdam Silo Re-imagining

The solution was created by Arons en Gelauff architects, a firm probably best known for its recent student dorm, which had a climbing wall on its side, along with landscape architect Rob Aben, and Janneke Hooymans, an interior designer.

Amsterdam Silo Re-imagining

[Via Arch Daily]

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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