The Cornelium Amsterdam
With a lively artist colony and secret green oasis between the existing monument and the new volume on the Lelylaan, The Cornelium will be a creative heart in the neighborhood. The plan area lies on a natural route between the city center of Amsterdam and the Westelijke Tuinsteden. The development of a closed building block would be inadequate for the neighborhood. The Cornelium therefore opts for an all-sided 'fordable' landscape that surrounds the monument and the new building. The landscape extends to all sides of the plan area and stretches under the monumental building like a green carpet, so that the monument seems to float over the landscape. The Cornelium forms a unique public outdoor space within the urban context of Amsterdam Nieuw-West: a leafy oasis dubbed the "climate forest" for its climate robust and lush design. The plan area is known to be at risk from extreme rainfall, so it is essential to solve these problems in the design. Therefore the sloping landscape at ground level provides for natural water storage by means of large wadis, creating all sorts of micro gradients from wet to dry and from dark to light, which benefits biodiversity.
The path structure in and around the climate forest makes contact with the surrounding public space and various entrances around Het Cornelium, giving the design an inviting and fordable character. Residents and visitors move along the paths and wooden decking above ground level, allowing vegetation and mosses to grow undisturbed under the path. There are different types of places to stay, ranging from height differences and sitting stairs, to benches along the paths and playful seating elements in the squares. It is not just an area to move through, but also an area to stay in, play adventurously, and meet fellow neighbors. Viewed from the lively program in the plinth, such as the health center and restaurant, a window is created on the richly vegetated climate forest. The communal roof garden on the monument is accessible to all residents and will have a direct connection to the indoor stairwell in the monument. The new building and the roof garden will also be connected by a bridge element, which will provide an attractive view of the neighborhood. The lush landscape at ground level, the planted facades and the collective roofs make an important contribution to the quality of life for both humans and animals.
Amsterdam, commissioned by ION en Green Development, in collaboration with OZ, competition design, circular city, healthy city, climate adaptive city, Flux landscape architecture, 2022