An impression of a renovated sports park. Design: The Municipality of Amsterdam Design of the AFC club building: Paul de Ruiter Architects. Design of bridge and fencing: M3H Architecten.
De Wit and De Wit are jointly responsible, on behalf of Zuidas, for the design of the new-build sports complex for the oldest football club in the city. It is a project that, after two decades of collaboration with numerous parties, wide-ranging visions and restrictive rules, is finally becoming a reality. The current, definitive design alone required four years of work, explains Martijn de Wit. “Of course, a whole host of different variations were drawn up. Designing a sports park requires a lot of patience. It revolves around a marriage between us as designers and the teamwork with AFC in order to forge a design into a comprehensive whole. Although we sometimes have different interests, we do share a single mission, namely to realise an attractive, properly functioning and timeless sports park. We are extremely happy that we have reached the end of this lengthy project and that we are able to work on a variant which is actually going to be implemented. Nothing beats being able to walk through a completed plan along with your family, friends, end users and colleagues.” The beating heart of the sports park is a central space containing the clubhouse and the main pitch. “Although it was far from easy, we are going to be able to use clinker bricks in this area. As a result, this part of the sports park will have its own unique atmosphere.”
Joost de Wit, who is a designer who specialises in public space, explains that the refurbishment implies a major change compared to the old situation. “The public space of the new sports park links up much better with the surroundings. The entrance area runs via a wide bridge, and an expansive crossing, on to the new residential neighbourhood which is going to be located to the south of the sports park. It is important that the sports park has a function for both AFC, the main user, and people in the neighbourhood. For example that residents can pop into the clubhouse for a sandwich, or for treatment by the physio.”