Valerie Smalen

Valerie Smalen



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My graduation project focuses on the redevelopment of Waterlooplein in Amsterdam. The goal is to restore the historical significance of this location and create a vibrant and inclusive community in the heart of the city. This is achieved by preserving and renovating the existing buildings, rather than demolishing them, promoting sustainability and respect for history.     

The project retains the original structure of the building, including corridors and elevators, which is not only cost-effective but also preserves historical value. New homes and a theatre section are added to breathe new life into the location and create a lively community. Outdoor spaces such as a rooftop terrace and waterfront promenade are created for residents and visitors to enjoy the beautiful views of the city and water.    

The project includes 540 homes in 15 variations, making it accessible to a diverse audience. It combines existing and reused materials such as brick and concrete with sustainable wood to create an engaging facade that reflects the history and future of the location.    

The redevelopment restores the historical significance of Waterlooplein, once a major crossroads in Amsterdam, by reintroducing the Lange and Korte Houtstraat and creating public spaces. The building not only houses homes but also theatres, shops, and restaurants, making it an integral part of the urban fabric.     

This project emphasises respecting existing structures, maximising flexibility, and sustainability. It aims to activate emotions, both in the form of dance and music, and in human interaction. It represents innovative thinking within architecture and aims to positively impact users and society while preserving and strengthening the rich history of Waterlooplein. The project also highlights the importance of working with existing buildings as a new approach to urban development.   

Graduation date: 28 August 2023
Graduation committee:: Wouter Kroeze (mentor), Rogier van den Brink,Stephan Petermann
Additional members for the exam: Micha de Haas, Anna Zan

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