ETH Zurich – Institute for Urban Design
HIL H44.1 – Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5 – 8093 Zurich



Design Studio HS16 Amsterdam Waterfront

Amsterdam Waterfront 

Whether London, Boston or Copenhagen, the centers of cities move towards the water. Amsterdam too is looking for a new relationship with its fast developing areas on the north-side of the estuary IJ, which separates Amsterdam’s north from its south.  


Concurring with the closing of two big shipyards in the 1980s a transformation process started along the waterfront. Nowadays new developments cover almost the entire shoreline of the IJ. Its central location right next to the central station, its proximity to the water and the vast areas abandoned by the former industries, make the waterfront an attractive development area and field of experimentation for new actors and for the implementation of new uses. The planning vision of the “sprong over het IJ“ - the jump over the IJ is within reach but the question what kind of city should emerge there is still open. 


In our design studio we pursue the question of the future meaning of Amsterdam‘s north based on the case study site of Draad en Kabelfabriek (Draka). Urban design concepts should investigate the area in the context of a larger spatial vision for Amsterdam‘s waterfront. 

Supported by the Chair of Cognitive Science (professorship Christoph Hölscher) we will search for innovative approaches and transformation strategies for the waterfront’s possible development. Hereby both superordinate connections as well as specific on-site conditions will be part of our consideration. 


The design studio includes a four day trip to Amsterdam at the beginning of the semester (participation optional). The processing of the design task takes place in teams of 3-4 students. 


Structure of the semester: 

Participants: max. 36 students 

Studio location: ONA, E25 

Working method: teamwork 

Excursion to Amsterdam: 01.-04.10.2016 (travel costs 500 CHF +/-10%, transport costs and three overnight stays are included, participation optional, please check possible time conflicts with obligatory lecture series on 03.10.2016) 

ECTS: 13 + 3 credit points (integrated. discipline planning 063-1401- 16) 

Teaching language: German/English (reviews partially in English) 

Cooperation with: Chair of Cognitive Science (professorship Christoph Hölscher) 

Introduction: Tuesday, 20.09.2016, 10:00, ONA G27 

Final review: Wednesday, 21.12.2016, 10:00, ONA G27 

Semester costs: 0 CHF 


Kontakt: Christian Weyell