AMS Studio Amsterdam ‘New Bloom for the Plantage’

Studio Amsterdam will return to AMS in Q2 2015. New TU Delft Architecture students will work on projects in the Plantage under supervision of Antonio Cruz, Antonio Ortiz and Kees Kaan. Today the introduction to the project will take place.

Summary by teacher and studio coördinator Aldo Trim
Studio Amsterdam is a collaboration between the Spatial Planning Department of Amsterdam and TU Delft Department of Architecture. The studio features Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz, architects of the renovation of the Rijksmuseum, as special visiting professors. Studio Amsterdam will work on the Plantage area, which undergoes a huge transformation in coming years. Assignments have the goal to generate proposals creating a ‘New Bloom for the Plantage’. Actual teaching will be in Delft with official events in Amsterdam. Through Studio Amsterdam the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment aims to enhance the interaction between the department and the city of Amsterdam. Studio Amsterdam focuses on current issues in the capital.

Numerous buildings of The University of Amsterdam in the Plantage area will become vacant due to outplacement of functions. This beautiful part of the city has an interesting history, growing from a lush garden outside of the centre, to a classical science park enclosed by the city. With the ongoing transformation, the question is what kind of future potential can be exploited and how specific buildings play a vital role in the area’s new functional and cultural embedding.

Students will perform a thorough urban research in order to understand the Plantage area’s history and to identify the sites or buildings that could become catalyst for intervention. Research serves as basis for the design decisions to be made. It zooms in from the large scale of the city itself, to the medium scale the area, to the small scale of the site. The resulting data has to be organized into a comprehensive research book, used to develop a design intervention.

Story by student Brigitte O’Regan
This past semester I took part in ‘Studio Amsterdam’. In terms of tuition the studio worked differently in many ways to an average studio in Delft. Antonio Ortiz would be there every three weeks to review our work in a pin up while Muriel Huisman, current director of Cruz y Ortiz in the Netherlands, and architect Laura Alvarez were our weekly tutors. At the final presentation, along with special guests from the Municipality Amsterdam, Antonio Cruz was also present. Working with Ortiz confronted the students with different teaching styles we usually encounter in the Netherlands. Yet it was certainly all pervasive.

After intensive research, the students worked in an office like setting on a masterplan for the Plantage. The last phase of the studio led to an architectural plan ranging from a single pavilion on the place where the canal belt ends to the redesign of the edges of Amsterdam’s zoo. Under the guidance of Antonio Ortiz, ours was not a big scale master plan but one of carefully studied and inserted interventions. Interventions that could bring the whole area to life, with respect for the rich past and present charm of the Plantage.

Studying under master architect Antonio Ortiz, whom for many decades has engaged with life and the world around as architect, was a great experience. It was a heady rush charged with the promise of the worlds within worlds we are yet to behold and the secrets our profession can reveal to us. Ortiz had one message that seemed to chime out above everything else. This seemed to be the belief that architecture has an autonomous life, a life that transcends function and social demands. Architecture must outlive these demands and yet always know how to meet them. It was an enormous challenge to think in this way.

Studio Amsterdam website

Movie of visiting professor Antonio Ortiz