'Water City' Strategic Design for Haarlem


Master Urbanism TU Delft (MSc 1)

Project location:

Haarlem, The Netherlands

Presentation movie:

Haarlem plays a pore role in the connection between Amsterdam and the beach. Although the city has a lot of potentials because of its geographical location, it is momentarily mere an obstacle for travelers.

I wanted to improve the recreational boating traffic from Amsterdam to the beach through Haarlem. The city already has a great number of waterways, the only problematic is that there is no clear connection of the water structure. The waterways are scattered over the whole city. By adding new waterways in strategic places a new water network is created. The new waterways will be a new pulse through Haarlem.
The areas around the water now can be redefined in terms of activity and density. The main rule in the structure plan is to continue on the existing program of the area in developing the watersides. But this continuing of the existing program doesn’t form the solution for every area. In some parts I added a different character to the existing one to create a certain amount of heterogeneity. In most of these cases I added a charachter which defines the overall charachter of Haarlem. This character is low dense living in green areas.

These new waterways also bring opportunities to develope new harbors. These harbors will activate the area and make them lively. There will be small and informal harbors in green open spaces, and there will be two big harbors, where there is a high density and a high activity level. On of these bigger harbors will be in the Waarderpolder, which is a historic industrial area and has a great potential for redevelopment.

The harbor has to attract the boats from the Spaarne waters into the core of the Waarderpolder. Therefore the view from the boats is of great importance. I started the design for this area by setting up some strategic sightlines. These lines form the base of the development of this design.

There is a mixed program of commercial and business functions on ground level of the development, topped with high dense dwellings. This system is then interrupted with some high rise office buildings, which become the landmarks of this new harbor.