Tom Bruins Slot

Tom Bruins Slot



Calm Down

In Amsterdam through architecture

This is a design for a place to become calm in the city centre of Amsterdam. A place next to the water where you can forget the busy city life. A place where you can be outside, where you can relax or focus on something calm.

I grew up in a little village in the countryside. To study architecture I moved to Amsterdam. Although it’s nice to have everything close by, I find it hard to calm down in the city. There is often the urge to take a break from the city. Away from all the hustle and bustle. The available time often doesn’t match the desire for a break. A nice calm and quiet place in the city centre would be a good solution to find peace in a short time span.

Due to urban developments, life is increasingly taking place in the city. Everybody needs to have a rest now and then and therefore a place that can facilitate that rest. In a city like Amsterdam, quiet places are becoming increasingly scarce due to the demand for more houses and all the associated facilities in combination with the money that comes with it. Amsterdam is one of the most densely populated cities in the Netherlands and is still growing. To fill in the growth in a healthy way, next to the density there should be space to calm down.

The exact location for this project is the back area of the Esso petrol station at the Sarphatistraat in Amsterdam. It is place where a lot of people pass by on a daily basis, which makes it easy to have a short calm moment without it taking too much time. The back area of the petrol station is hardly in use at the moment so this is the time to do something with it. The location next to the canal Nieuwe Vaart gives this plot a lot of potential.

The analysis of peaceful moments and places produced a number of spatial experiences that give a space a calm feeling. These spatial experiences form the basis of the design. Next to the space, the activity happening in that space can also help for a calm feeling. The the workshop with focus on the task, so everything around gets forgotten. The showers, where the focus goes to the thoughts, to reflect and put in order the thoughts which are important at that moment. Or the water to swim in where the focus can go either to the sport (task) or to the thoughts. The shower building, the workshop and the landscape enabling to swim form a little oase of calmness, so the rush of the city disappears into the background.  

In the ideal world there would not only be this location behind the Esso petrol station, but it would be multiple locations throughout the city. So everybody has a place close to their house where they can relax and calm down.


Graduation date: 31 augustus 2021
Graduation committee: Laura Alvarez (mentor), Marten de Jong, Ira Koers
Additional members for the exam: Jo Barnett, Tatjana Djordjevic

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