Eastern Harbour district

Eastern Harbour district

At the end of the last century Amsterdam City Council decided to designate the Eastern Harbour district for housing. The unique character of the area, combining land and water, was to be preserved. The water basins were not to be filled and an urban feel close to the city centre has been given to the moles with the construction of 10.000 residential buildings.


KNSM island has been designated a waterfront area by Amsterdam City Planning Department. Jo Coenen, the lead designer, has accentuated large blocks in a cohesive manner, preserving the atmosphere of the wharves and warehousing.

The design of Java Island, by Sjoerd Soeters, was also instigated by the City Planning Department. He used the ring of canals around Amsterdam as a pattern.

New forms of housing on the islands of Sporenburg and Borneo created by West 8 has rejuvenated the design of urban development. The high density, low rise buildings are in beautiful contrast to the vastness of the surrounding water. A single tower block rises above the low buildings like a cathedral.


The Eastern Harbour district/ Oostelijk Havengebied is divided into several areas. However there is a cohesiveness to the whole district provided by uniform requirements for open space, height of buildings and a similarity of architecture