Sewage treatment plant

Westelijk Havengebied
Laurens Jan ten Kate, Harm Freymuth
Architectuurstudio Herman Hertzberger
DS Landschapsarchitecten, Witteveen+Bos ingenieurs
Waternet Amsterdam
Infra, Voorziening

33 buildings in Western Harbour Area

The sewage treatment plant in Westelijk Havengebied has been built to replace two of the three existing sewage works in the city. New-build was necessary because the sewage treatment complexes in east and southeast Amsterdam were becoming an ever-larger problem, partly because of stricter environmental requirements. In the new system, sewage from the entire city will be pumped westwards.

The aim when organizing the site was to create as exciting an architectural experience as possible for passers-by. The plant has 33 buildings, situated in a front and a rear area. In the rear area are 25 cylindrical sedimentation tanks, which are approximately 50 metres in diameter and which range in height from two to fifteen metres. The tanks stand in a strict line, in two long rows parallel with Aziëhavenweg. In the front area, at the head-end of the site, three tall sludge fermentation tanks and the company building immediately behind them function as eye-catchers for the area.

This elongated building, containing offices and workshops, has been designed to be as transparent as possible. The five-storey structure has a basement with changing rooms and washrooms for staff. On the ground floor are the machines, and the other floors house a restaurant, offices and meeting rooms. In the centre of the building is a 20-metre high void in which various stairways cross one another. A spectacular feature is the water curtain, which cascades from the roofs of the three tanks and which is illuminated from below at night. (ARCAM/BU)