Travellers probably haven’t noticed it yet, but the Zuidasdok project really started to gather steam in 2021, especially around Amsterdam Zuid station, which is being fully modernized and expanded. This is much needed, because the capacity of the current station is much too limited for the number of passengers who use the station – and that number is expected to grow enormously over the next few years. The new station will become a hub for national and international train passengers, as well as for local metros, trams and buses. In June, we announced a new timetable for all the different stages of the mammoth Zuidasdok project: both the creation of the new public transport node, the tunnelling and widening of the southern carriageway of the A10 motorway, and work on the highway interchanges at Amstel and De Nieuwe Meer. We also announced the tender for the upgrade work on De Nieuwe Meer interchange in June.
In January, we began preparations for the widening of train platforms 3 and 4. The long Easter weekend gave us 100 hours to work on this project, and also to complete a lot of the ground work for the station’s brand-new passenger underpass: the Brittenpassage. We continued work on building the roof for this passage between the metro tracks, and moved two of the roof sections into place in August. That was also the last project to be completed by the ZuidPlus construction consortium. At the end of August, we reported that the Nieuw Zuid consortium will continue work on the new station. In the autumn, we completed more work on the metro tracks, which was necessary to create a larger area to work in. In November and December, we installed extra switches, so that starting from summer 2022, line 52 (the North-South line) trains will no longer spend the night at Amstelveenseweg metro station, but at the depot in Diemen. This is to enable progress to be made on the large-scale work that will take place between 2022 and 2023.
A new urban district
Improving and expanding transport infrastructure is vital for the development of Zuidas. We are working on a whole new urban neighbourhood where people can live their lives, where national and international companies will be keen to locate and where people can enjoy spending time, with good local facilities and beautiful public spaces that are as green as possible.
A new residential district: ‘Ravel’
In November 2021 we were proud to announce the completion of Valley – a green city in its own right, with 198 apartments. Right next to it, we are taking the first tangible steps in creating the new, low-traffic residential district of Ravel, which will have 1,350 homes, especially for families with children. In order to make space for this, the football pitches of the AFC in the Goed Genoeg sports park had to be moved slightly. The new sports park and AFC club building were officially opened in September. In other work around Ravel, new cables and pipes were installed. These were laid under the future Maurice Ravellaan, the road that will run between the Goed Genoeg sports park and the residential area. We started this work in April, and in August we laid 90 kilometres of empty pipes under the future road. Three months later, the foundations for Maurice Ravellaan were visible.
In July 2021, construction work started on the multifunctional Crossover building, which will provide 120 social rental homes. In November, work started on the construction of The Newton in the Kop Zuidas district. The project will provide 101 apartments. Two months earlier, construction started on The Pulse in the Kenniskwartier district, which will include offices and a cinema with nine screens as well as around 200 homes. In March, we also announced the construction of 550 homes on the site now occupied by Sporthallen Zuid. In May, we reported on the plans to create homes and offices on the site where the temporary court building currently stands (the plans were amended slightly in July).
The construction and planning of new offices also continued apace. Zuidas is and will remain an attractive location for national and international companies. In May, the city council adopted the zoning plan for the Vivaldi neighbourhood, which will make it possible to build an 86-metre high wooden office building and an office building along the A10 motorway, between the EMA and hotel Van der Valk Zuidas. Construction work continued on the renovation of Edge Stadium on Fred. Roeskestraat and on the Strawinsky House in Prinses Irenestraat. In the same street, the building previously occupied by the Amsterdam International Community School will be given a makeover. CubeHouse will be built on the last plot in the Mahler district, as we reported in November, and the 2Amsterdam office building was completed in November.
We also worked on many new facilities in Zuidas last year. In January, we announced that the Zuidas Children’s Campus will be located at the heart of the new Ravel residential area. In March, we confirmed the arrival of OBA NEXT, a major new public library facility. OBA NEXT will be a place for meeting, sharing knowledge and experimenting. In December, we invited three parties to submit their designs for OBA NEXT. As we mentioned, the AFC moved to its new home in the Goed Genoeg sports complex. At the beginning of May, the first hearings took place in the beautiful new court building on Parnassusweg. At the end of August, we informed you that the remaining section of the old courthouse, which is a protected monument, will be used as a museum. In November, Zuidas got a new cinema when the VU Rialto Cinema opened its doors in the New University Building on De Boelelaan. And then of course there was the start of the weekly Thursday market on Gershwinplein, in early September.
Finally, we continued to work on creating attractive public spaces that are as green as possible. After years of complaints about inconsiderate cyclists and motorcyclists, the southern section of Mahlerplein was given a new greener look. We also gave Claude Debussylaan a fresh new look, with plants and seats. Trees, plants and shrubs were planted in Van der Boechorststraat, we started work on Boerenwetering and we completed work on Rosy Wertheimstraat. We continued work on designing Hogelandplein and a mini park in the Eemlandstraat. And the renovation of Europaplein-Oost started.
But the best day of the year was, without a doubt, 30 October 2021. Between the lockdowns and pandemic restrictions, and in the pouring rain, we managed to organize a very successful open day. We also have big plans for 2022. We will tell you more about those later, but of course you will be very welcome to come along. On behalf of all employees of Zuidas and Zuidasdok, we wish you a healthy and enjoyable 2022.