In December 2020, Zuidas looks rather different than it did in January 2020. At the start of 2020, no one could have suspected that the daily hustle and bustle in Mahlerplein and Zuidplein, at the station, around the coffee machines in offices and in hospitality venues in Zuidas could fall so quickly into silence. But that is not the only change that happened. In Zuidas, construction work has continued as normal throughout the last year. And not just a little bit. While everyone stayed at home, the same was not the case for the construction workers. Numerous projects were completed and others continued full steam ahead. As a result, Zuidas really does look different than just a year ago. We were also able to announce some important new projects, including the Ravel residential district, the arrival of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam music academy, the Stepstone social housing project, and The Newton apartment complex. Despite the uncertainties of the world in which we found ourselves, there were also some developers that announced new office projects. These included an 86-metre tall wooden office building and an eye-catching office alongside the A10.
As for Zuidasdok, 2020 was a year of renewed vigour. March saw Minister of State Sybilla Dekker issue a new advisory report. Its title alone, ‘Energetic Construction for the Future’ (‘Voortvarend Bouwen voor de Toekomst’), provided a clear demonstration of the benefits and necessity of the project. As a result, construction work has continued energetically. Over Whit weekend, construction consortium ZuidPlus continued its work on the foundations for the second passenger tunnel under Amsterdam Zuid station (the Brittenpassage). In early December, it was able to pour the concrete for a second section of the tunnel roof.
Behind the scenes – and from home – we also continued to work on new developments. We had numerous online meetings with residents. This included a discussion of the landscaping of Europaplein Oost, for which we completed a provisional design. We also presented our plans for the Verdi neighbourhood, in which we are combining residential construction with sport, recreation, green areas, and water. As the year drew to a close, we began work on the long-awaited upgrade for the southern section of Mahlerplein. Two new zoning plans were also published: one for the Vivaldi neighbourhood and another for the Ravel district.
But the real heroes of Zuidas were the construction workers, again captured extensively on camera this year thanks to photographer Marcel Steinbach. In spite of everything, they worked unstintingly to realise a unique city district that radiates international ambition while also offering housing and amenities for all the people of Amsterdam.