Monday, November 14, 2005


Arcam is the Amsterdam centre of architecture (architectuurcentrum) located at Pris Hendrikkade. It was built in 2003 by R.H. van Zuk.

I love this building, it seems to grow organically out of the ground. It is of the ground and not on the ground.

It is a vibrant and dynamic piece of contemporary architecture which lies at the gateway to the Eastern Docklands (Oostelijk Havengebied). The area consists once consisted of heavy industrial buildings and processes with a raft of artificial peninsulas which were constructed in the late C19th and early C20th.

Today the distinct areas of the Docklands (Abattoir, KNSM, Java, Borneo, Sporenburg, etc) have been regenerated into a vibrant mix of residential, business and cultural activities. The sites are anchored by keynote developments of the highest quality; and even more importantly the whole area is 'synergised' by integrating artistic and cultural elements into the warp and weft of the built fabric. There is a useful
architectural guide to the area available via the arcam website.

It notes that the aim of the development ' was that art should not be experienced as a value added on afterwards. In order to integrate art, architecture and urban design successfully, it was decided that the art projects should be included in the early development at an early stage. Moreover, a link up was sought with the areas past and the relationship between art, public space and architecture was stimulated.'

This image is of the bridge linking Sporenburg and Borneo Island.

Both images were taken in June 2005 as part of a project on regeneration

You can view all images taken of this project here.

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