Four people who live or work in Oosterdok tell you why they find the quarter so special
Professor of sustainable innovation
and Oosterdok resident
Amsterdam city archaeologist and
professor maritime and urban archaeology UvA
Spring House Director
Former general manager van DoubleTree by Hilton
Amsterdam Central Station
The red house is now known to many cyclists that cycle along the IJ via the Ruijterkade. This is where Spring House accommodates what director Antoin Deul describes as ‘a members club and curated community of more than 200 radical innovators’. According to Deul, Spring House is very much at home in its Oosterdok location. ‘Many interesting organisations and companies that are concerned with innovation are developing here. Spring House is happy to take the lead in this and works wholeheartedly with our neighbours towards radical renewal.’
‘We share the desire for a more social and sustainable society. Spring House is our network, co-creation, space and creation lab’ says Deul. ‘It is here that we inspire one another and work together on the big issues of our time. Spring House functions as a catalyst, implementing and stimulating positive change.’ At Spring House, many sessions, lectures and workshops take place that look at issues such as the transmission of energy, creating an inclusive city and a circular economy. ‘We do this in collaboration with various organisations and considerable attention is paid to involving ‘regular’ Amsterdamers.’ As director, Deul works on the development of partnerships through the development of Spring House’s expertise and brand. ‘I also ensure that the community of social designers, artists, scientists, journalists, climate experts and architects work together on large projects that have a social impact.’
Previously published in De Echo
"Oosterdok is the ‘portal’ of Amsterdam. A gateway to the world. It was from here, during the Golden Age, that Amsterdam played such a central role in world seafaring and the global economy. The hundreds of ships coming and going in the harbour, to and from all points of the compass, carried people, goods and ideas across the globe. Today, this is still the point where Amsterdam finds its way out into the world, and where the world comes to Amsterdam.
The current meaning of ‘portal’ is a gateway to the internet, a starting point from which surfing on the worldwide web is possible. Where now the web is responsible for the distribution of goods, and for bringing people into contact with each other, in earlier times this was done by ships. Ships were the means of bridging large distances and making connections. We could see the many ships that sailed the IJ in times gone by as USB sticks, and Oosterdok, Amsterdam’s onetime harbour, as the hard-drive where the ships logged on."
"Innovation is in the Oosterdok genes. Over the centuries, the district has continually adapted to new developments, and today sustainability and innovation are central.
Heating and cooling for buildings on Oosterdokseiland is supplied by an enormous underground thermal energy storage system; windows and façades of new buildings are insulated to an extremely high standard, and solar energy is being used more and more. Quality of life is also a strong focal point, with compact combined construction of apartments for sale and to let. Nearly all waste on Oosterdokseiland is collected separately for recycling.
The Marineterrein, a former naval college campus, has become a start-up incubator for innovative businesses, and sits perfectly alongside the NEMO Science Museum and the OBA Maakplaats, where young people can develop their creativity and digital skills. The quarter is also bursting with creativity in all manner of fields: music, literature, architecture and nature are all blooming. In short, Oosterdok is a dynamic district completely geared up for the future: innovation and sustainability make all the difference here!"
"The Oosterdok area is bubbling with entrepreneurial sprit, from startups to international headquarters, exemplifying Amsterdam's diverse, cosmopolitan vibe. For hundreds of years, Amsterdam has been renowned as a haven for pioneers, entrepreneurs and dreamers from all corners of the globe.
With our new global headquarters planned for the very heart of Oosterdok, next to the Conservatorium, we will be perfectly positioned to continue on our mission to empower people to experience the world. As the historical epicentre of Dutch innovation and exploration, Oosterdok is the ideal spot for our growing workforce, representing over 100 nationalities just in Amsterdam alone. We look forward to being part of such a vibrant community that reflects the city's rich, international history."
"Oosterdok is a new, un-Dutch part of Amsterdam. We know that the quarter is already attracting visitors from all over the world. We continue to be very happy that we’re able to contribute to building a beautiful Oosterdok, where there’s already so much to discover. Where else would you find the chance of adding a new skyline to the city? Oosterdok offers a view over the water on both sides. Amsterdam is low-rise, so all the buildings in Oosterdok offer an endless vista over our beautiful world city.
From Oosterdok you reach out to all the world, and all the world reaches us. Cruise ships from rivers and oceans moor alongside; five trains pass at a time, and you can almost see the planes landing. Good transport connections make the innovative, culturally vibrant Oosterdok both an airport and city-centre location. The world has discovered Oosterdok and embraced it. We regularly ask visitors and Amsterdammers what they find best about Oosterdok. Amsterdammers appreciate the international allure. Visitors like nothing better than being in a place the locals love. At Oosterdok, both target groups find themselves in a successful mix, with a great atmosphere."