Vernieuwing Bijlmermeer
F. Ottenhof, renovatie: CASA Architecten: Koen Crabbendam
CASA Architecten
Van der Ley Bouwgroep
metro 53, halte Ganzenhoef
Kantoren, Wonen

High-rise living in green space

The original plan for the Bijlmer, a city expansion area to the southeast of Amsterdam, was based on the ideas of the ‘Congr’s Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne’ (CIAM), whose standard bearer was the Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The new creed, which was a reaction to organically developed, nineteenth-century industrial cities, was light, air and space and the separation of the functions living, working and traffic, and this was translated into a plan comprising blocks of flats in green space.

Because of an accumulation of problems, in the late nineties a major renewal programme for Amsterdam Zuidoost was launched, as a result of which more than half of the original high-rise has been demolished and replaced by low- and medium-rise. The original principles of functional living have been preserved in the Bijlmermuseum. These honeycomb flats, one of which is Grubbehoeve, were built between 1969 and 1971 and have recently been renovated.

A group of ‘Bijlmer believers’, united in the KJEB (Koop Je Eigen Bijlmer) (‘buy your own Bijlmer’), has ensured that Grubbehoeve was saved. In the renovation, half of the flats were converted into owner-occupied dwellings, which has resulted in a greater diversity of dwelling types. For example, there are now live-work dwellings, which were created by linking flats on the first floor with workspaces in the building’s plinth. By making the staircases, entrances and gateways more spacious, the block of flats as a whole now has a more transparent character.

As a nod to the ideals of the original Bijlmer, in the middle of Grubbehoeve part of the characteristic collective space and covered corridor has been preserved. Partly due to details such as these, the ambience of the ‘city of the future’, which the Bijlmer was to have been, can still be experienced in the Bijlmermuseum. (ARCAM/FG)