Introduction – general background
Java Island is situated in the Eastern Harbour District of Amsterdam, which consists of artificial peninsulas that were constructed between 1874 and 1927 for port activities. In the seventies these port activities were relocated to the western dock area of the city. At the same time the Amsterdam City Council decided to transform Java Island into a residential quarter. Various Designers and supervisors were involved in this scheme. The planning scheme by Architect Sjoerd Soeters was chosen to be implemented.
Woonatlas (the Atlas of living) , which described concepts of living is an important part of the development brief. The development was designed to accommodate different people with different wishes: Work/Hobby, Families, Low Budget and Representive. A range of dwellings types were developed to suit the need of the occupants in terms of the degree of collectivity or individuality.
The 130 metres wide and 1200 metres long Java island is partitioned by four narrow canals, connected by numerous distinctive archbridges. Individual canal houses are built along these narrow canals. Apartment buildings are relatively small, and each of them contains approx 20 dwellings that is meant for different target groups. Within this structure, each building has its own programme of functions, access and design. All these units were randomly divided over the island and designed by different architects. Soeters applied the principles of the famous Amsterdam canal district to the area: differentiation and unity. This strategy generated a great deal of variation and alternation within the continuity of the development. Architectural rules were required to ensure unity. For example, unity of materials and colour was prescribed and variety in the heights of the windowsills and the building was required. windows were designed in series and rhythms
The development was situated parallel to the quays in order to...