Stadspoort Amsterdam

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2009

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This thesis will attempt to redevelop the immediate context of Amsterdam's central train station in order to reinvigorate the station's intended purpose of serving as a gateway to the city. Implicit in this goal is the need to examine the transportation and visitor functions housed on the site and to resolve them in a more urbanistically coherent way.

However, the main focus of the thesis is to investigate the history and culture of the city and to synthesize them into a built form which is clearly evocative of Amsterdam's gestalt. Since architecture inherently reflects the attitudes of the community that produced it, it is hoped that much of this synthesis may be achieved by examining the tectonic approaches used in Amsterdam's recent and distant architectural past and then reinterpreting them for the twenty-first century.

A secondary focus for the thesis is to attempt to repair the rift in the city's urban fabric that was caused by locating the station at Amsterdam's waterfront, effectively splitting the city in two. Although the primary area of interest is the plaza in front of the station, this secondary focus will necessitate interventions both in the station itself and on its waterfront edge.

By means of these investigations and interventions it is hoped that the site can be reinvigorated as a culturally and urbanistically significant entryway to the city.

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