Sluisbuurt, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

competition entry
Urban Planning
total area:
competition team:
Marina Kounavi
Karolina Szóstkiewicz
Irgen Salianji
Harris Siaravas
Marco De Vincentiis
Maria Akrivou
Antonis Athanasiou


The Hybrid City

The discussion and criticism about the contemporary city’s continuous sprawl has increased over the last decades, alongside the inherited alienation and rigid functional zoning that the modern urban planning has imposed. Such urban planning failures in the Netherlands are numerous, including Almere and other housing areas that have been transformed into “ghost cities” due to the lack of mixed functions.  We strongly believe that this is a result of the following two facts: firstly, the mono-functional character of an area and secondly, its aging population. In the case of Amsterdam, urban expansion is also limited by its historical substance and rigid form, making the creation of new land on the Ij river the only option for densification and architectural experimentation.

The development of Sluisbuurt will create an innovative, iconic and productive mix-use district in Amsterdam. The current master plan of the area proposes a dense scheme that combines high-rise buildings with neighbourhood feeling public spaces, however it lacks design elaboration and spatial integrity. Our proposal embraces the given scheme but expands it further towards a more productive, coherent and mix-use direction.

The proposal introduces the notion of continuity and a sense of integrity in the given scheme, by linking the project site with the adjacent public spaces on the West. Understanding the site as a sequence of diverse urban episodes, the project introduces new alignments for the buildings and creates a series of interlinked public spaces in the heart of the two blocks.

Diversity and vertical connections are crucial factors for the development of a new city quarter. The integration of workspaces, leisure and housing in the high-rise buildings could lead to a mix-use neighbourhood with diversity of users and vibrant activities. We propose a hyper intense vertical accumulation of different functions and episodes that unfold their production in the green roofs and the public spaces in the centre of the blocks.

We define 5 different typologies of housing: the student, the expat, the single, the couple and the family unit that could lead to a mixed housing model. The different user’s needs are expressed spatially by the size of the unit and the sharing of functions like the kitchen or the living room.

Workspaces and housing were never as interconnected as they are today, considering the changes that digitalisation and the open-market economy have introduced in our lifestyle. The old model of the alienating office space does not work anymore and it needs to melt into and blend with housing - empty office spaces in the Netherlands should not be simply transformed into housing, but housing and workspace should work as one.

The productive city is all about cooperation, start-ups, sharing knowledge and immaterial production. We propose vertical programmatic hybrids within the same building, so that housing and working can overlap and the sense of community can become omnipresent. We propose a Hybrid City!