Urban beach

Urban beach

O + A strategies and architecture
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Project Year

Urban beach

O + A strategies and architecture as Architects

The floating urban beach in Amsterdam's IJ river is O+A's architectural device to attract city dwellers to new developments whilst simultaneously making a significant addition to the amenities of Amsterdam.

The floating urban beach touches upon many aspects of the city. The municipality of Amsterdam has initiated a major offensive concerning sustainability and it has great ambitions therein. One of the milestones in this endeavour was Amsterdam Waterstad (watercity) 2010. Several endeavours were to put the city of Amsterdam on the map in terms of sustainability and water. In that light, the image of people swimming in the IJ would be a testament to the water quality in this city. Parallel to this discussion, national politicians are calling for more urban swimming locations. In short, the urban beach has the potential to charm citizens, enterprises and governments alike.

For the design, a swimming pool has been taken with sufficient surrounding public space. This basic typology is folded to make the object more flexible. This way an open-air movie theatre can also be held in the summer and a wellness centre can also be held in the winter. The inclined surface presents itself as an urban beach which does no more than provide access to the IJ along Amsterdam’s rigid quaysides. The clear form in which all of this happens, works as a framework in which the variation of programme and users is encouraged.

The urban beach is a concept which attracts potential residents to future developments, while making a significant addition to the city’s amenities. The implicit and lucid form of the mobile structure factually does no more than provide access to the IJ estuary while encouraging a variation of programme and use.

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