Olga Chulkova

Olga Chulkova


Transformation of the viaduct 959 and adjoining area by reuse of local urban, architectural and cultural qualities.

What do we do with the post-war urban and architectural developments? Nowadays, the buildings and urban fabric of the period between the 1960s and 1980s are approached negatively. We judge the apparent lack of identity and we prefer to destroy them and build something new. When we do so, we miss the hidden meaning of the objects in the urban fabric that have been shaping the very local identity in these 'generic' neighbourhoods. To reinforce the local identity, we should think about restructuring these areas by adding new elements to the existing structures.

My graduation project focuses on creating a new urban and cultural identity in the western part of Buikslotermeerplein at the site of the Waddenweg viaduct (recorded as bridge number 959). It is situated just a couple of minutes’ walk from Metro Station Noord. The viaduct itself has shaped the space on the square; it has provided it with rhythm in the 50 years since it was developed. For this reason, the viaduct has become an important urban object for the place, yet the area lacks cultural activities, in spite of a highly diverse and fast growing community, eager to express their creativity.

V959 Cultural Centre for Community Arts is designed to facilitate activities for community arts. The centre is constructed from the elements of the existing viaduct at its original site. In this way, the local identity is being rethought, and it stresses the importance of sustainable and circular economy principles in new developments. Apart from the original supporting structure that is used as a surface for street art, all elements of the viaducts, including beams, stairs, bus stops and street lights, are reintegrated into the new design, both inside and outside. In this way, a new unexpected architecture and landscape is created from the familiar, generic infrastructural object. Flexibility of spaces and transformable structures give possibilities for multiple ways of using the building. Outside, public spaces follow the structure of the building and create a continuous cultural landscape. All in all, V959 Cultural Centre creates a place to stay, to explore, to express, to surprise and to be surprised.

Graduation committee: Machiel Spaan (mentor), Judith Korpershoek and Furkan Köse. Additional members for the exam: Rik van Dolderen and Jochem Heijmans.

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