Amsterdam exhibition features designs by Yale School of Architecture students

The future of a historic Dutch naval complex — as envisioned by students from the Yale School of Architecture — is the focus of a new exhibition opening on Nov. 15 at the Center for Architecture in Amsterdam (ARCAM).

The Yale students created possible scenarios for the “Marine Etablissement,” which has long been associated with the Golden Age of Dutch maritime history. The Royal Dutch Navy and the City of Amsterdam are finalizing plans to give a new public face to the site, considered one of the largest and most undeveloped areas in any major European city.

“New Perspectives, Marineterrein, Yale and the Oosterdok” will feature nine schemes by Yale architecture students, designed as part of the 2013 Yale Bass Fellow Development Studio, led by Isaac Kalisvaart, CEO of MAB Development in The Netherlands. On view will be scale models with panels illustrating the students’ ideas, ranging from a park or cultural center to plans that take the site’s nautical character as their departure point. The schemes will be shown against a background of artists’ impressions and plans for the site from the 1980s, as well as more recent studies by architects.

Organized by ARCAM, the exhibition will run through Jan. 18. It is open to the public free of charge.

Located in the heart of Amsterdam, the 31-acre “Marine Etablissement,” or “Naval Installation,” has been part of the Dutch Admiralty since 1654. For centuries it was the site for construction and launching of the Dutch fleet, an important factor in global trade and the Dutch economy. Its use as an active naval base is one of the primary reasons that “Marine Etablissement” has remained isolated and undeveloped. In addition, a series of boundaries have separated it from the rest of the city, including railroad tracks to the north, a historic wall to the east, and a museum to the southwest. 

For this project, students in the Bass Studio had the opportunity to add to and influence the public debate over the site’s development. They considered it in the context of current market forces and participated in a “real time” development process from its inception with developer-clients and other stakeholders, including government and military officials.

Kalisvaart, the 2013 Bass Fellow, is one of Europe’s largest developers and is based in The Hague. He led a development team with Erik Go, the architect-head of Studio MAB, the developer’s in-house architectural firm, and Hans-Hugo Smit, director of MAB Research. The team served as the client for Yale students on the project in Amsterdam.

The Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Architecture Fellowship was established in 2004 through the generosity of Edward P. Bass ’68 B.S. It enables the School of Architecture to invite distinguished private and public sector leaders in the development community to participate as integral teaching members in advanced studios and seminars. Previous Bass Fellows include Charles Atwood (2008), Katherine Farley (2010), Vincent Lo (2011), and Douglas Durst (2012).

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Media Contact

Amy Athey McDonald: amy.mcdonald@yale.edu,