Java Island Amsterdam, Harbour renovation project 1991-2000

Java Island is a narrow peninsula in the Eastern Harbour District of Amsterdam that was built in 1900 for the mooring of large ocean-going ships. When the port activities shifted westwards, this harbour became gradually redundant and Amsterdam decided to transform the Eastern Harbour District into a residential area.

Java Island is uniquely located right next to the old city centre. The plan by Sjoerd Soeters aims to create an ideal residential environment with the city’s historic inner cordon of canals as a model and consists of a series of relatively small apartment buildings, designed by different architects. The buildings along the quays are of a size that relates to the large dimensions of the island and the water yet keeps the human scale in mind. The buildings are 27 meters wide and each is divided into five bays of 5.4 meters. Within this structure, and supervised by Sjoerd Soeters, the different architects produced a variety of dwelling types. The island was partitioned by creating four lateral, relatively narrow, canals at which individual canal houses were built. Behind the canal houses are palazzi: small apartment blocks that address public inner courtyards which each have a different desig

Ir. Sjoerd Soeters, pleasant places happy people