Transvaal Train Track Park

In the midst of the financial crisis Rijksbouwmeester Liesbeth van der Pol initiated a program to keep young architects ‘off the streets’. Among many other things a ‘masterclass’ was organized to reflect on the potential of a ‘problematic’ neighborhood in Amsterdam.

Our team was asked to address the deficient connection with the rest of the city caused by the train tracks and more specifically to ‘reinvent’ the long, low and dark underpasses.

During the two day workshop a wonderful discovery was made: an unused stretch of land lay idle in-between the train tracks; a rare wasteland in the middle of the city with great potential. Could we reclaim this vacant land for the city?

The swoosh shaped plot of about 20.000m2 is sandwiched between two train tracks. There is no apparent reason why the tracks are spaced so wide apart. Squeezing them together, tapering this bundle of infrastructure, would make the valuable land available: a new park could emerge.

Local authorities at the time were very excited with this discovery. But we passed by the site again recently: in 8 years nothing has happened. Time for action. What a niiice present to the city this could be… more here

 

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