On The Tree Girdle
Characteristic of the western garden cities of Amsterdam is the open block layout. The plan makes it possible to connect the public spaces to form a continuous green stretch framed by two rows of cherry trees that gives identity to the neighbourhood. Within the frame, each yard is made unique by an articulated layout of a specific tree species. The storage of the existing buildings is shifted to the back of the blocks, enabling public functions and commercial facilities to replace the blind facades on the street side. Both the open and built zones are intensified. While the proposal fixes a trace of the original plan’s modernist utopia, it actually encourages the area to become denser and adapt itself to the needs of a contemporary society.
by Anouk Vogel and Johan Selbing