August 2020 was the long-awaited date. After a year spent watching the construction of the so-called ‘skirt’ designed by architect Liesbeth van der Pol from their rented apartment in Xavier, Ruud and Susan were ultimately able to make the move into their final accommodation. Before that, they had lived in a semi-detached house in Amstelveen for many years, but they yearned to live in Zuidas. ‘The children had left long ago and we were ready for a new phase of life. In 2016, we were just approaching retirement and Zuidas suited us as a place to live’, explains Ruud. Susan adds: ‘Because we’d previously lived in Amstelveen and Ruud comes from Buitenveldert, Zuidas seemed a logical move: close to the city and plenty of green areas and all kinds of cultural amenities within reach.’ Ruud: ‘I grew up in Buitenveldert, so it’s almost like coming home. We also really liked the idea of a luxury apartment rather than a big semi-detached house’.
Missed the boat
They had already sold the house in Amstelveen, but finding a nice apartment in Zuidas proved trickier. Between 2014 and 2017, the couple actually made various attempts to secure a place in an overstretched housing market. Susan: ‘We didn’t always have the impression that the sales processes were as fair as they could be. We signed up for various construction projects in Zuidas, but always missed the boat.’ ‘Then, along came The George with its extraordinary design and a real focus on greenery’, says Ruud. ‘Yes’, continues Susan, ‘but it was still very much touch-and-go. Initially, we lost out again, but a potential buyer then dropped out, freeing up the apartment we had our eye on.’
During construction, The George became much more orange than they had expected. They were able to monitor the construction process from the balcony of their temporary rented apartment in Xavier. ‘We really didn’t see that orange coming’, explains Susan. ‘On the drawings, the building looked slightly yellower, which appealed to us.’ But as construction progressed, they grew to like the colour. ‘In the end, we found this red colour quite attractive, bold and fitting.’ As it was being built, they were able to visit their apartment to inspect progress inside on two occasions.
The result is a joy to behold. We are inside a lovely, bright apartment with people clearly proud to give a guided tour. It is wonderfully light and airy. Ruud: ‘We really like the special details. They give our apartment its unique character. Take the six small windows on the side of the building. We had two cabinets made that integrate the windows into the design.’ ‘And don’t forget the terrace’, says Susan. ‘It’s great that it’s so spacious and that so much planting has been integrated into the design. Thanks to that, it looks attractive from the outset and we don’t even need to water it; that’s regulated automatically from the roof reservoir.’
Great place to live
Something else the residents had not seen coming was coronavirus. Ruud: ‘The good thing is that we really love walking. Did you know it only takes 50 minutes to walk to Dam square? Besides, we also have Gelderlandplein just around the corner. You can be in Zuid city district in no time and you can be among the trees of Amsterdamse Bos in just ten minutes. I actually like this peace and quiet in Zuidas.’ ‘For now, we just have to live with the fact that we can’t go out to eat, visit the cinema or museums. Fortunately, we’re really happy with our choice of this apartment. Of course, we can’t wait until everything is back to normal, but, in the meantime, we’re just enjoying it in a different way and this is such a great place to live’, concludes Susan with satisfaction.