Houthavens Tunnel Boulevard
Amsterdam (NL), 2003
In the Houthavens area to the north of the Spaarndammer neighbourhood, a new residential neighbourhood will be developed in the near future. The Tasmankade is one of the most important access routes into the centre of Amsterdam and is part of the IJ boulevard. The heavy flow of traffic obstructs effective connections between the new development and the established neighbourhood. Routing through traffic into a half-sunken tunnel and connecting the islands of the new neighbourhoods by bridges opens up the option of creating a new public space between the two neighbourhoods.
The Spaarndammerstraat is a busy shopping street that runs from the Westerpark to the future Waterplein in the new Houthavens development. The point where the boulevard intersects this street is an ideal location for a large square for events and markets. A picturesque assortment of cycle and pedestrian bridges link the square to the homes on the new islands. The details and materials used in the square will be echoed in the bridges: boulevard becomes square, square flows into bridge. The boulevard and the tunnel with its glass walls will bring the Spaarndammer neighbourhood and Amsterdam closer to the water again.