Studio Class at Auburn University
Studio Class at Auburn University

HUMAN-WATER-ENVIRONMENT IMAGERY FOR THE Y-HELLING: Designing Scenographies for Spatial Rethinking the Dutch ‘Culture of Water’ along and beyond the Waterfront of the NDSM Shipyard in Amsterdam

This project was developed by Didong Chen as a student from KU Leuven and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Facilities category.

NDSM has long been a shipyard till 1979, since then the site at Amsterdam Noord became vacant, sometimes acts as spot for biggest European flea market and international events and festivals in Amsterdam. Impressed by the long history of Dutch tradition to conquer the water in response to rising sea levels, as well as the amphibious state of the Y-Helling, an urban design combines the old part and new extension which changes with water and time finally comes out. The proposal settled on the idea of an open harbor bath, a large wooden deck positioned on an extension of the heiling on the shipyard. And different space experiences related to water are designed along and beyond the way to the waterfront. Water is everywhere and urban voids are transferred to new public spots for communities around and whole Amsterdam city. While enjoying the sceneries and festivals on the new helling, the trash collection system under the pier also help take away the floating trash on the water and give clean water back to the water system.

A kaleidoscope of activities, from quiet repose to exhilarating rides, bring year-round life to the waterfront of NDSM. Inspired by the huge potential to create new public space from the relationship between people’s behaviour and water’s behaviour, the collective domain inbetween water is created. The whole design could be divided into three parts, new helling, dock and pier in the water. Some new concrete structure similar to before is established and create more chances for more activities and new space experience upon and under the helling. When waterlevel is low in the winter, part of the extension plays as dry deck and provides more public space for people. While waterlevel goes up in summer, the dry deck part plays as an open swimming pool for people and people walk more on the roof top. From the perspective of trash recycling, the long pier stretches out into the water to collect trash when water was taken in by pump to pass through the filter installation, which plays an significant role in purifying the water. A clean domain is defined for infinity pool which could be used to held many sports competitions such as surfing and rafting. Rather than imitating the traditional indoor swimming bath, this proposal offers an urban harbor landscape with dry-docks, diving platforms, playgrounds and pontoons.