Gemeente Amsterdam, dienst Ruimte en Duurzaamheid. Iris van der Helm; Ton Muller
Decima mix DF Sepia and Amarant
90° Herringbone bond
The Sloterdijk area is undergoing a thorough redevelopment. It was once a business centre mainly comprising offices and industry, but this is set to change. Over the coming years, it will gradually be transformed into a more varied city area that is not only better linked to its surroundings, but where it will also be possible to live.
The ‘Sloterdijk bereikbaar’ (accessible Sloterdijk) area strategy outlines a number of priorities. The first and most important step in the contemporary development of this area was the execution of Orlyplein. This project is a contribution to the aim of connecting the Sloterdijk area to the city and creating more attractive surroundings focussed on homes and people. Creating pleasant places to live is key to creating a flourishing area, in the light of the current knowledge-based economy and the anticipated transformation of the area.
Orlyplein, comparable in size to the Arena Boulevard, is a major anchor point. It forms a spatial link between the areas to the south and north of the railway line. It is the place where the traffic flows from the city, offices, the port, industrial estates and the users of the Sloterdijk public transport junction converge.
The square will also serve as an important meeting place. The square was conceived as an attractive and lively residential area, with space for recreational amenities, hotels, restaurants and cafés, (small-scale) events and green areas. The relationship with the recreational and cultural amenities in neighbouring Brettenpark is self-evident.
Iris van der Helm, of the Municipal Authority of Amsterdam, justifies the choice of Vande Moortel’s paving bricks:
“It was mainly the lovely natural colours that led us to choose a mix of Amarant
pavers. They are very subtly blended, not overbearing like those you often see these days.
Before the refurbishment, the square and its buildings were extremely stony and hard. These bricks, despite being bricks – because you do need them for a station square - bring more softness and colour to this place. And, in addition to the planted areas added, that was exactly what the square needed to make it more inhabitable”.
“Oh yes”, adds Iris, “Don’t forget to mention that it is also a beautiful timeless brick, which will only become more beautiful over the years! Not overbearing and therefore a long-term investment in public space!”
A fantastic planting plan was made for the square, involving 55,000 perennial plants and over 35,000 bulbs. The natural tints of the Sepia
pavers harmonize well with this planting, thereby contributing to the overall experience.
The success of the Orlyplein is already apparent from the initial feedback. A survey conducted amongst passengers and visitors to the square shows that they now also spend time at the square, while previously they had only crossed the square in order to reach their destination. So it comes as no surprise that the turnover of the hotels, restaurants and cafés on and around the square has increased considerably since the refurbishment.