Process strategy for the transformation of the Brettenzone in Amsterdam.


Historical research by the National Agency for Cultural Heritage and the municipal archive on the ‘Brettenzone’, a rather unknown 9 kilometer by 500 meter strip of land in the west of Amsterdam, revealed that relics from 1200 years of history are still extant in the area. Although designated to be a green recreational area and one of the green ‘wedges’ bringing nature and air into the city, it was never fully realized as such, leaving the area subjected to numerous ill-considered and halfexecuted, overlapping plans. The result is not only an openair museum of planning failures, but also a rich yet incoherent collection of atmospheres and incidents.

Löhmann’s developed a vision for the transformation process of the Brettenzone, which does justice to the abundance of historical layers and relics. Rather than a futile attempt to plan and design the whole area, this vision consists of a number of complementary strategies, varying in scale and time span. The vision aims to rediscover and reuse existing qualities and potentials of the zone by developing coherence in the existing collection of elements. Historical remnants and places gain in meaning and are opened up for experience.

The vision was published as the concluding part in a historical atlas about the Brettenzone ‘Tussen Haarlemmerpoort en Halfweg; Historische atlas van de Brettenzone in Amsterdam’, TOTH, 2010.


Client:  Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed · Amsterdam
Size  · 405 ha
Project architect :  Heike Löhmann
Contributors:  Marcus Kempers · David de Bruijn
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