Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio + New Grounds

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio + New Grounds

Text description provided by the architects. The Marineterrein, situated in the heart of Amsterdam, is transforming a military compound to a vibrant urban area with housing, workspaces, educational facilities, and a city park. New Grounds and Walden Studio were invited to revive a neglected part of the Marineterrein, the former shooting range, which offers a picturesque view of the sunset over the IJ river.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography, Facade

The elongated bunker that once served as a navy shooting range had become a canvas for ongoing graffiti battles. To revitalize this area, a phased design strategy was developed by consulting local businesses, passersby, and residents. The goal was to repurpose the bunker while addressing the graffiti issue. A planting scheme was implemented, using plants that bloom in the same colors as the graffiti, creating an organic and aesthetically pleasing solution to cover the walls.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Image 16 of 20

Next, a sculptural walkway was designed based on feedback from the community, providing access to desired functions. The renovated square in front of the shooting range became a podium for outdoor lectures, with broad atrium stairs leading to the walkway. The walkway offers stunning views over the water, connects to a future herb garden on the roof, and accommodates outdoor working spaces and a terrace. The zigzag shape of the bridge and sculptural railings adds a playful element, creating a sense of accelerating motion. The intervention aims to be a meeting point in the city, offering views of the iconic Nemo Science Museum and Oosterdokseiland.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography, Forest

In alignment with Amsterdam’s sustainability goals, the walkway was designed as a circular building project, utilizing almost only repurposed materials. Steel, wood, and concrete from existing structures were repurposed with minimal modifications to maintain quality. The wooden trusses of the bridge are made entirely from timber from an old harbor retaining wall (a sheet pile wall). To support the walkway, the bunker’s volume was extended with a bright yellow structure made entirely from the steel of a demolished cow barn.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography, Beam
Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography, Forest

Furthermore, the structure was built with reused street tiles, and old steel fences and even the concrete for the foundation was made with 80% circular cement and mortar. The foundation lies above ground to protect surrounding tree roots & create benches for the terrace and outdoor workplaces.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography, Forest, Handrail
Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Interior Photography, Beam, Handrail

Summum Engineering was responsible for the structural design and engineering for the detailed design of the circular timber structure. For this project the available material was already a given, so the company needed to engineer the structure with beams of fixed dimensions and material resistance. This made it a challenging feat of engineering.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography, Fence, Handrail, Forest

Now located within the front section of the bunker, a bakery offers freshly baked bread, delicacies and coffee. The bakery, along with the walkway, draws an increasing number of visitors to the site, filling the terrace under the bridge on sunny days. The space can be used in many different ways, for performances and exhibitions and as a viewpoint over the water. Taken together this intervention breathes new life into what was once an abandoned corner of Amsterdam.

Circular Walkway for Urban Renewal / Walden Studio	 + New Grounds - Exterior Photography

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *