“Commissioned by Ymere as a part of their redevelopment of Nieuw Waterlandplein in Amsterdam-North, this project was to develop a communal space and stage for local inhabitants. ‘We believe that when a podium is not being used it creates an empty, desolate feeling. So the decision to have an alternating function came early in the design process.’ Said Frank Tjepkema, founder and lead designer of Tjep.
Opened to the public at the inauguration of the new area on October 9th, the Waterlandplein stage has two uses, as aesthetic installation during the day and with a flick of a switch, a central performance stage flanked by an amphitheatre of surrounding seating. Hidden platforms in the ground elevate to form the central podium.
‘A stage performance is transformation. An experience that changes you. With the Waterlandplein stage this transformation is expressed in the function and form. From function to ornament, and back again.’ Stated Frank.
Another layer is the act of bridging Amsterdam-North and the older city of Amsterdam. The newer, blocky, North is merged with the more ornamental forms of old Amsterdam. Baroque elements inspired by the Concertgebouw (old opera house in central Amsterdam) are combined with tribal designs reflecting modern culture to create dynamic flowing shapes for the seating.
For coating a durable polyurethane coating is used, which was hand-poured in different colours over each piece to create organic tidal patterns that accentuate the flow outwards from the central podium.
Frank Tjepkema ‘We had in mind a place that can be used by all residents, from shopkeepers to a local neighbourhood band. A place for the people to enjoy and experience everything a community embodies.’
Title: Nieuw Waterlandplein Podium
City: Amsterdam, in the Amsterdam-North borough
Designers: Frank Tjepkema & Leone Janssen, Tjep.
Date of completion: October 2013
Method of construction: Galvanised steel, polyurethane coating, concrete foundation
Footprint: 400 square metres”