‘The EYE’- The new city park on Strandeiland, Amsterdam

The nearly one kilometer long water landscape park alternates high recreational zones with places that focus on water ecology
In the “Eye” you can swim and snorkel among the fish and underwater plants within walking distance of your home | Image Credit: (c) WAX

DELVA presents ‘Het Oog’ (The Eye), an innovative (under)water landscape park connecting the two islands of Strandeiland. In collaboration with the Municipality of Amsterdam, DELVA devised an urban plan for Strandeiland (the second phase of IJburg which will accommodate 8000 homes in the middle of the IJ river), and further elaborated the dynamics of the inland waterways of Strandeiland, ‘Het Oog’ (The Eye). The new innovative city park is an impressive 22 hectares.

Inland water becomes an independent landscape organism that focuses on water quality, water ecology and water recreation
The landscape concept for Strandeiland; (1 .IJburgbaai, 2. Noorddijk, 3. City park, 4. Inland water Pampusbuurt, 5. Park bank, 6. Landscape stimulants, 7. Nature bank, 8. Makerskade, 9. Oosterend)
Total plan drawing for IJburg phase 2, Strandeiland

Het Oog is a large inland waterway, situated on top of the historic primeval channel of the IJ. The inland water forms the link between the two neighborhoods that make up Strandeiland. The distinctive identities of the Pampusbuurt (formal and urban) and Muiderbuurt (informal and natural) are reflected in the rich variety of landscape typologies that will work together to form the structure of the (underwater) landscape park. Het Oog adds to the rich palette of landscapes that Strandeiland houses. It is a place of residence, meeting and activity for local residents but is also comprised of diverse ecosystems, a natural purification system and a distinct urban environment. Thus, Het Oog forms a solid ecological stepping stone between the IJmeer and the Diemerpolder.

Reed islands: more open places with a view over the water alternate with very dense, narrower places where you feel completely enclosed by the high reeds
The swimming area is bordered by the main path that also serves as a south-facing sunroof and an open grassy meadow on the other side
Viewpoint: a seating element that offers a view towards the setting sun
Forest edge: The main route lies between the natural bank with reeds and low grasses and the small forest
Natural pool: an open bay that emphasizes the vastness and width of the water
Wetland: The main route passes through a wetland on the right and several small reed islands on the left

In addition, the inland water is not naturally formed and is completely manmade. The identity of the park is derived from the inland water which serves the city and provides ecosystem services such as: improving water quality, water ecology and water recreation. Het Oog (The Eye) facilitates a particularly diverse water-related program in which the hard quay on the north side contrasts sharply with the soft bank on the south side. The southern side is being developed as a wide and varied natural bank where the maximum emphasis is placed on the 3 themes of water quality, water ecology and water recreation.

A variety of rugged grasses, shrubs and trees stimulate urban biodiversity and bring a real piece of nature to the heart of the city | Image Credit: (c) WAX
The many wetlands with semi-submerged vegetation purify the water and can be experienced via semi-paved paths and stepping stones | Image Credit: (c) WAX
The design language of the path structure forms the backbone of the park, from which special places such as a jetty, springboard or seating element arise | Image Credit: (c) WAX

Client: Gemeente Amsterdam
Location: Strandeiland, Amsterdam, NLSurface under(water) landscape park Het Oog: 22 ha 
Status: Sketch design                          
Program: Water landscape with space for recreation, nature en water purification    

Team: DELVA, Municipality of Amsterdam, Sweco                 
Design team: Steven Delva, Emiel Swinnen, Thomas Wolfs, Ranee Leung, Sumanth Subbarao

Website DELVA: https://delva.la/projecten/strandeiland-het-oog/

Images/Beelden: DELVA / WAX (renders)

About Damian Holmes 3339 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/