One or the of the finest bicycle trips in Amsterdam runs through the western islands, the Westerdokseiland and district Westerpark with among others the Westergasfabriek and the Spaarndammerbuurt. An area west of the central station. No massive tourist flow there, but in beauty and variation hardly to exceed. A mix also of modern and historical.
There is for example the Spaarndammerbuurt with unequalled beautiful Amsterdam School-architecture of architect Michel de Klerk. But then we have been walking already quite a lot. Through a part of historical Amsterdam. The Haarlemmerbuurt with rather much town renewal. After that the western islands with their history of fights against the town destruction on Bickerseiland. The warehouses on Prinseneiland, a lost bit of town beauty. The metropolitan development of the Westerdokseiland. And meanwhile the world famous Silodam, a recent apartment complex of MVRDV. If there is time left, we with the walk along the Westergasfabriek, transformed to a massive culture park.
We go on with a tour through the Staatsliedenbuurt. It was in the eighties more or less a no-go area – ‘the street governs here’. But you can see what town renewal, large scale renovation and reuse of industrial heritage a district can change. Architect Rob Krier gave a neighborhood a total other look with monumental renewal in post-modern style. On the location of the former municipal water company (GWL-terrein) an environment-friendly neighborhood was being built under the supervision of KCAP architects. Striking 19th century buildings remained saved. An old harbor location was changed in a student neighborhood with container dwellings and very little student cabins on the former cruise ship Rochdale One. For one or other reason worth to visit, already because of its originality.
Via the old district with great atmosphere the “Jordaan’ we cycle back to the centre.
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