“The Makassarplein forms a new central meeting point for the district. A square that could evolve into the neighbourhood‘s living room. Its execution, while simple and functional, allows more social coherence, engagement, and increased safety. Such a place was sorely needed.” Nevin Özütok, District Alderman, Amsterdam East

Project details

Project Redesign of Makassar Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Client Municpality of Amsterdam (East District)
Architect Municpality of Amsterdam
Used pavers Padova DF + Auraton DF

Makassar Square made ouf clay pavers

Redesign of Makassar Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Makassar Square made ouf clay pavers

Redesign of Makassar Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Makassar Square made ouf clay pavers

Redesign of Makassar Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Makassar Square made ouf clay pavers

Redesign of Makassar Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Makassar Square made ouf clay pavers

Redesign of Makassar Square in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Upgrading of a district

The Indies District in Amsterdam East dates back to the early 20th century. The streets are named after islands from the former colony, the Dutch East Indies. The Indies District is highly diverse; both ethnically and linguistically, more than 100 languages are spoken there. Compared to all of Amsterdam‘s districts, this area has the most subsidized housing, which will be converted into owner-occupied houses and flats. The upgrading of the district is also evident from the recent opening of a hip youth hostel, a promenade with cafés and terraces, a conference centre and a Mediterranean-style shopping boulevard.

More participation

In the upgrading of the neighbourhood, the development of the Makassarplein lagged far behind. Surrounding residential buildings had concealed the “plein” - or square. A large part of it was nothing more than an anonymous stone surface. Its atmosphere decisively changed with the time of day: occupied by children and mothers during the day, and a well-visited meeting place for evening pastimes. In 2012, residents were involved in discussions about the future of the square. More openness and potential communication areas in the form of playing and recreational facilities, picnic tables, a terrace, more seats as well as a specific “centre”, a fountain for instance, were intended to meet the demands of the residents and provide a platform for improved community integration.

Energy through play and sports

Amsterdam’s ambitions and the wishes of its residents merge in a green and intimate homely setting. The use of adjustable luminaires reduces power consumption and improves safety. Raised plant beds with grassy areas and perennials respond to the demand for a green area of great public value. The picnic tables are positioned in the shade of beautiful fruit trees. Courts and a play area provide new energy – in a both literal and figurative way.
Clay pavers were chosen for this qualitative and functional upgrade. The choice fell on a blend of ’dikformaat’ Ruston and Auraton. Ruston (red and purple) has an authentic and natural appearance, while Auraton (yellow, red and brown) conveys a rather hospitable and playful impression – exactly what the new layout of the square was intended to reflect. Furthermore, the colour range of the paving blends nicely with the existing urban context.

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