How can old and new communities be connected through a new form of social architecture?
The 4 students of the Overhoeks/Van der Pek case researched the possibilities of improving social ties between two neighbourhoods in Amsterdam: Overhoeks and Van der Pek. The former is being developed at the moment, the latter is and ‘old, traditional neighbourhood in town. What’s special is that the two are situated literally in each others shadow. According to the students, improving social ties implies “encountering each other on a regular bases in a natural and informal way”. To empower this process, the students developed the concept of the ‘Floating Market’. Their pilot was situated on the Johan van Hasseltkanaal, which wasn’t more than a physical barrier between the two neighbourhoods before their intervention. The ‘Floating Market’ transformed this barrier into a place where people can meet. The concept is based on the floating gardens developed by ‘Provo’ Robert Jasper Grootveld. The gardens consist of 1,00 x 1,00 x 0,50 foam blocks, each of them having a floating capacity of 500 kilograms. Tied together, these foam blocks form an incredibly stable floating surface.
Based on a purely economic relation the market could function as a shared icon for the two neighbourhoods and also as a positive impulse for the wider area as well.
Here are some impressions of this very sucesful day:
Pictures by Roland Pupupin.
You can also view the final presentation of the Overhoeks/vd Pek Team at the Amsterdam City Hall last week.