Afaina de Jong designs new landmark on NDSM

What does inclusive public space look like? And what kind of functional public space is needed at NDSM? These are the questions on which architect Afaina de Jong was commissioned by Stichting NDSM-werf to design a new meeting place on the site that for many years housed the society for former shipyard workers and then the Sociëteit Sexyland. In a preliminary phase, she will enter into a dialogue with northerners, in order to arrive at a sketch design. The final installation can ideally be seen in the summer of 2022.

In the coming six months De Jong (Amsterdam, 1977), known for her work for Rijksmuseum, Centraal Museum Utrecht and Venice Architecture Biennale, among others, will create a new architectural installation that focuses on the versatility in functions of the site and its users. The central location, near the ferry landing, and history of the lot invite the creation of a public meeting place. “The project is in line with the vision of Stichting NDSM-werf to make the public space explicitly ‘public’ and to make the polyphony on the area tangible with special art, design and architecture projects,” said curator Petra Heck.

Research by podcasting

De Jong’s working method is typified by a bottom-up and interactive approach in which the voices and ideas of users and residents play an important role. “Who feels seen, heard and welcome here and how do you facilitate this through spatial design? Both on NDSM and other neighborhoods in Amsterdam-Noord, I started talking to Northerners on squares about their wishes for such a place. By working with different podcast makers, I was able to conduct my research on different levels,” Afaina explains. The input gathered was processed into a first sketch proposal that will be presented at the end of November and, after fine-tuning, lead to a final design. The podcasts, made in collaboration with Jesper Buursink, Radio Noord Amsterdam and Respons Podcast, will be broadcast in the coming weeks, in Dutch, via the channel NDSM X. It can be listened to via Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Podcasts.

In 2022, the first contours of the design will become clear on the lot. In the run-up to that Stichting NDSM-werf organizes the program ‘Exploring Inclusive City Design’ in Pakhuis de Zwijger on November 26th on design for inclusive cities where next to Afaina de Jong also Arna Mackic, Joseph Henry (Sound Advice) and Amina Hassen (Blackspace Collective) are guests. You can register via the button below.

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