Integration of the Amstellaan

Integrating and widening the Amstellaan, a main artery, has always been the stumbling block in restructuring the Deventer Rivierenwijk. In the past, developers and engineers have imagined many options, all equally infeasible and undesirable, based on a pure technical infrastructural point of view. In 2011, One Architecture changed roles: We have made the engineers compliant to the designers and created a new design. All of a sudden we had a design within budget and with full support of the area’s residents as well.

The design is a result of non-linear thinking. The complexity of city, residents and process have all influenced One Architecture’s design. A number of discoveries have been made in this process:

The neighborhood is decisive, not the road
Infrastructure follows neighborhood. Input from its residents is essential in designing the inter-neighborhood connections. And looking at the physical aspects of the neighborhood, like its height curves, makes sense as well: It is consistent with issues such as the water table, reducing the cost substantially.

Road alignment from the old and the new design

Infrastructure and park are one
The design has been conceived integrally: Infrastructure, landscape and city all work together.
The road is part of the neighborhood rather than cutting a ‘ditch’ through it. Noise is not just blocked by a screen, but in a more hybrid manner: By using distance, slopes, short screens, height differences with the road, and the design of its edge elements. There are oblique views towards the neighborhood, special buildings and monumental trees. The landscapes continue under wide overpasses to improve the sense of security.

The neighborhood has flexibility
The design has been done in a way that does not interfere with the neighborhood renewal process. Therefore, the Urban Framework envisions new buildings at a certain distance rather than integrating them within the plan boundary. Project Amstellaan’s green ‘sound landscape’ reduces noise, improving the livability of the area. This will facilitate the future development of housing and increase the green quality of the area.

Visual lines through the park and flexibility in building plots

There is accuracy in shape, and room for optimization ‘under the hood’
Challenging in detailing this design is to be accurate when needed, and to leave room for changes. For instance for a contractor with ways of making the construction cheaper and more intelligent. In the design process and in the description of the design we have made our way to guaranty quality, while allowing for optimizations.

Optimization under the hood

One side is always dry, the other can flood occasionally
The main inter-neighborhood connection for slow traffic crosses the park. The route for cyclists has to remain dry at all times. But is this the case for all users? Is it really necessary to protect the entire area against water levels that only occur once every seven years? Taking a more relaxed stance here, leaves ‘space’ (also budget-wise) to make the underpasses wider and higher, thus connecting the two parts of the park.

location: Deventer, Rivierenwijk
client: Municipality of Deventer, The Netherlands
collaborators: One Architecture
year: 2011-2014

One side always dry, the other sometimes floods
Neighborhood connection