Zuidas Lives The George and The Gustav

Moving to Zuidas in the time of coronavirus

Pauline Lingg was really looking forward to her move to Zuidas. That was in January. She is now living in The Gustav and we decided to contact her. ‘Things are pretty quiet around here right now, but my apartment already really feels like home.’

After a two-year wait for her apartment in the new residential complex The Gustav, the move was scheduled for 1 April 2020. Just two weeks after the press conference by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. ‘It did come as quite a shock’, says Lingg. ‘And, of course, this is not how I’d envisaged the first months of this new adventure.’ Even the move itself turned out to be different than planned. ‘I enlisted my parents’ help, instead of a removals company. Fortunately, I didn’t have that much to move, because I’ve had a lot of things built in.’

Everything chosen with the utmost care Photo: Marcel Steinbach

Unique atmosphere

Lingg has now been living for just under four months in the home that she bought on the basis of architectural drawings. Is she happy with the result? ‘I really love the studio! It’s turned out just as I imagined. It’s not particularly big, but because the ceiling is 3 m high, it feels really spacious.’ Lingg has also given the space its own unique atmosphere. ‘Older buildings often have features that make them special. Stained-glass windows, old doors or an old floor, for example. I really like these unique features and they’re harder to find in new-build properties. So, you need to resort to your own creativity and put the effort into making a studio like this into something special.’

'It feels like home' Photo: Marcel Steinbach

Creates unity

In her efforts to add her own style to the apartment, Lingg has spent years drawing up plans and outlines and thinking up ideas. Lingg: ‘I found it a really enjoyable process.’ One of the results is a wooden bed made by a friend that folds away into a fitted wardrobe and although it may look quite austere, it has a certain warmth. The kitchen, made from a different type of wood, combines with this to create unity. ‘If ever I was unable to find what I had in my mind’s eye, I simply made it myself.’ The royal blue lamp, for example. ‘I was able to find the right model, but not in that colour. So, I simply sprayed it. It’s the small details like this that makes it really feel like my place, after only three months.’

Different

When we last spoke to Lingg in January, she wondered what living in Zuidas would feel like. This was partly because, having lived in the centre for years, she was not very well acquainted with this part of the city. And so? ‘Well, to be honest, it’s a bit difficult right now. With all the new hospitality venues and small shops sprouting up, I actually thought that Zuidas had become livelier in recent years. To some extent, I still miss the sense of community you have in the city, so it’ll be interesting to see how that develops in the years ahead.’

The blue lamp on the left Photo: Marcel Steinbach

Good contacts

Fortunately, contacts with other residents are good, which is a bonus during this period. ‘It’s great fun to see what other people have done with rooms that are basically identical. And there are plenty of quite young people living here, in the same phase of life as me.’ The only thing that Lingg finds slightly disappointing is the fact that not everyone is living here yet. ‘I’m not really sure if it’s because of corona, but that could be the reason why people have postponed moving for a while. If all these residents now quickly move in and the office people can then start working here again, rather than at home, that’ll soon bring back the atmosphere. And, until that happens, I’ll be waking up every day in an apartment that’s just the way I want it.’

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