Author: Emma Corson
Connecting Land, Water & Sky: DSA Amsterdam Community Centre
Studio: ARCS 3107 – Studio 5
Professor: John Cook
Year: Winter 2021
The majority of Holland is not natural, but rather a product of land reclamation: water management, dykes, piers, dredges, and canals. What was once marshland is now coastal ocean terrain: this project brings traces of marshland through shallow pools, flora and fauna, to this constructed topography; however, through celebrating the past, the pier does not neglect the present of future of Amsterdam. A piece of land reclamation itself, the structure sits on a site that connects land, water, and sky through built surface. It extends the land, enabling access to the surrounding maritime at both surface and sub-surface water levels. Despite adding square footage to an important urban green space park, it does not claim the underwater realm, instead, it gives the surrounding community a chance to interact, observe, and enjoy the delight of the aquatic realm. By delicately including natural cues of the surrounding landscape, whether historical or current, into the project; this urban-park extension aims to passively educate and cultivate ecological awareness. The pier helps construct, retain, and build up a community that engages kindly with the natural, or wild, realm, without the harm humanity typical imposes. It reintroduces nature into the narrative.