THE BERLAGE PLAN
The Olympic Stadium, designed by architect Jan Wils, fit seamlessly into the original ‘Plan Zuid’ (South) and is inextricably linked to Berlage, who is considered the ‘founder of modern architecture’ in The Netherlands. The distinctive imprint of Berlage is prominently visible throughout South Amsterdam.
The Stadionweg (Stadium Way) borders Olympiaplein (Olympic Square). The Marathonstraat (Marathon Street) in turn crosses Olympiaweg (Olympic Way). Keep going and you’ll run into a web of sport-titled streets like Discusstraat (Discus Street) and Sportstraat (Sport Street). Beyond that, streets are named after the Olympic gods and Greek goddesses like Artemis, Aphrodite, Eos and Hercules. The Olympic Games consisted of not only sport, but also culture and philosophy. The district was originally designed as an Olympic village and then transformed into a residential area.
JAN WILS BRIDGE
An Olympic gold medal; that’s what stadium architect Jan Wils was able to take back to his home in Voorburg after the Amsterdam Olympics. It was the culmination of his work designing the Olympic Stadium. Back in 1928, architecture was also a category in the Olympic Games.
The iconic Marathon Tower next to Olympic Stadium is also a Wils’ creation; he decided to leave a flame burning in the saucer atop the tower for the duration of the Games. That’s how the Olympic Flame got its start, and this flame remains a major symbol of the modern Olympic Games.
In 2008, the Jan Wils Bridge, designed by Rob Lubrecht, opened. This 75-metre-long steel structure connects the Olympic Stadium and Olympic Quarter district with the Schinkeleilanden (Schinkel Islands) Park.
THE PIET KRANENBERG PATH
You don’t tear down an Olympic Stadium. That is not what you do if you respect yourself as a nation.
That historic statement is the words of the late Piet Kranenberg, honorary member of the NOC*NSF (the Dutch Olympic Committee*Dutch Sports Federation). In the 1980s, Kranenberg was the best-known face of the lobbying efforts to save Olympic Stadium. The former CEO of Amstel and Heineken was, therefore, a key influence in the eventual preservation of this sporting landmark. The bike path behind Olympic Stadium is named in his honour: the Piet Kranenbergpad.
THE OLYMPIC quarter
The new residential area right next to the Olympic Stadium in the Stadium neighbourhood. Following a contest in 2001, the new streets in the quarter were given the names of Greek goddesses, such as Laan der Hesperiden (Avenue of the Hesperides), Eosstraat (Eos Street), Afroditekade (Aphrodite Street), Hestiastraat, Rheastraat and Artemisstraat (Hestia, Rhea and Artemis Streets). With a total of 969 new homes, during construction it was the largest building site within Amsterdam’s A10 ‘ring’.
SCHINKEL ISLANDS PARK
The green park behind the Olympic Stadium consists of four beautifully landscaped islands, a tennis island, a football island, a park island and a nature island.
Everything a person needs on a beautiful summer day in the city. – Het Parool
Barbecuing is permitted on the latter two islands. Overall, these islands form a highly prized recreation area on the SportAs; the route that runs from the Olympic Stadium to the Amsterdam Forest (a very large, landscaped park). The football island contains the pitches of Amsterdam Sports Association Arsenal.
THE NEW STADIUM SQUARE
As of summer 2016, the new Stadium Square is still in full build-out mode. Living, shopping and relaxing is all possible right next to the Olympic Stadium. The designs are new and innovative, but have a clear link with the rest of the neighbourhood. With shops, restaurants and cultural facilities all in the plinth, Olympic Stadium gets a lively ‘town square’.
THE ZUIDAS QUARTER
The ‘South Axis’ business area on both sides of Amsterdam’s South Ring Road (A10), between the Amstel and Schinkel rivers. Over 700 companies are located in Zuidas, including Google, AkzoNobel and ABN AMRO. These companies are primarily active in financial, legal and business services. In addition, Zuidas is a place to live, stay and enjoy recreation. There are already 650 homes that have been built. With a projected 8,000-9,000 homes by 2040, Zuidas will become one the largest residential areas in Amsterdam.