Amsterdam IJ oeverClose

Masterplan for the redevelopment of Northern river IJ banks Amsterdam

Client: City of Amsterdam
Program: Masterplan
Design: 2020
Status: Commissioned Study
Team: MORE + XML

Commissioned by the City of Amsterdam, MORE and XML present a masterplan for the redevelopment of the Northern IJ Waterfront in Amsterdam. The vital part of this plan is a public waterfront – the Noordas – which connects eight different new urban neighbourhoods, each with its own typology and urban form. The plan is part of Amsterdam’s Spatial Vision 2050, providing a binding direction for the spatial and social development of the city.

Amsterdam-Noord plays a critical role in the development of the city of Amsterdam as a whole. It is therefore not possible to look at the development of the Northern river IJ banks without defining the relationship between Amsterdam-Noord and the rest of the city.

The Noordas plan of MORE and XML is based on the idea that in order to integrate the river IJ as a full part of the city, its Northern and Southern riverbanks must be balanced, while retaining the specific character of Noord. In line with the fragmented character of Noord with its very different neighbourhoods, the plan consists of a densification of the Northern IJ-Banks between Sixhaven and Schellingwoude in a ribbon of distinct urban neighbourhoods with a mix of working and living. In each of these districts, the new buildings are designed perpendicular to the water, to retain a good (visual) relationship with the water of the IJ.

Each of these neighbourhoods has its own identity and urban character. The eight neighbourhoods are connected by a public waterfront with civic facilities. This public ‘Noordas’ is a continuous route along the water from Overhoeks to Schellingwoude. A number of public facilities will be built at the Noordas: culture, beach, but also “urban sports”, such as a skate park, a floating swimming pool and “muscle beach” where people can work out in open air. In the plan, the Noordelijke IJ-Oever is therefore not regarded as the “other side” of the centre of the city, but as the waterfront of Amsterdam Noord.

In order to keep Noord properly and sustainably accessible now and in the future, the plan proposes to connect the Isolatorweg and Amstel metro stations through the Amsterdam-Noord district. This creates a new ring line in the metro system that allows for a contemporary polycentric urbanity to grow around the historic city centre. The Noordas will be one of these new centres, comparable to the Zuidas, Amstelkwartier, Sloterdijk and the Lelylaan area.

For further densification it is necessary to improve the quality of the public space in Amsterdam Noord. The plan proposes to enlarge the current Vliegenbos and transform it into a new large “Central Park” for Noord. In addition, part of the Schellingwouderpark will be programmed with culture and a Biennale pavilion for international art exhibitions.

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