Dutch property developer AM has launched an open international ideas contest for new ways to boost inclusivity within contemporary cities (Deadline: 27 August)
Open to all designers, urban sociologists and ‘city makers’, the anonymous, bilingual competition seeks innovative concepts to boost accessibility within existing settlements and new residential developments both at the masterplanning and detailed design scale.
The call for concepts, organised by Architectuur Lokaal, aims to identify new strategies for promoting inclusivity in future AM projects across the Netherlands. Four finalists will participate in a charrette with the company and the overall winner will receive a design commission.
AM I Included?
According to the brief: ‘AM is looking for a working method with feasible proposals for area and living concepts, based on an urban vision, that make the city more inclusive. The inclusive city was developed as a social concept whereby inclusivity denotes the participation of all groups in the social, cultural and economic life of the city.
‘Within the social domain, there are programmes to shape and strengthen the inclusive city. Within the spatial domain, however, there is relatively little knowledge about what aspects can make the inclusive city a success.’
Based in Utrecht, AM is part of the Netherland’s Royal BAM Group and focuses on delivering a range of living, working, shopping and recreation schemes in rural and urban locations across the country.
The latest contest aims to boost innovation and creativity within the company and encourage government and other organisations to partner with AM on major new developments. Concepts must shed new light on the fundamental ideas influencing inclusive cities.
AM’s De Zalmhaven project designed by Dam & Partners Architecten and KAAN Architecten
Proposals will be expected to consider the roles different designers can play in shaping inclusive places and to also explore new typologies, public space layouts and programming at a range of scales from street, to district and city.
Submissions may be in English and Dutch and should include up to three A3-sized display boards featuring text and images. Judges include AM Concepts director Hilde Blank; Elma van Boxel, landscape architect at ZUS; and Edwin Oostmeijer, developer at Edwin Oostmeijer Projectontwikkeling.
Eight shortlisted teams will be invited to present their concepts to the jury. Four finalists will then receive €2,400 to participate in a design charrette with AM property developers and development managers. One overall winner will then be selected for a design commission.
How to apply
The deadline for applications is 27 August
Visit the competition website for more information
Q&A with Hilde Blank
The jury chair and director of AM Concepts discusses her ambitions for the contest
Why are your holding an ideas contest for new inclusive urban concepts?
Over the past few years, AM has evolved from a developer of homes into an integral area developer. AM sees itself as a company with a strong social drive with a focus on the economic core area of the Netherlands and the existing urban areas. This means that AM’s development managers and developers focus on current social themes. This led AM to identify five themes, and to focus on exchanging knowledge within the company itself and on building a network with new partners and advisers outside the company. These five AM core themes are: Healthy Urban Living & Working; City and area maker; Inclusive city; Bold durability; and Living happily. This is not a contest to get the best projects, or a range of projects; rather, we are asking for innovative ideas. For example, what is the role for a developer when it comes to an inclusive city?
What is your vision for the accessible development solutions?
This is an open call for a vision. After evaluation, the entrants with the best answer to the question, according to the jury, are awarded with a commercial assignment. In the vision phase, there is a prize of €300 for presenting the vision. The judges will select eight candidates in total, selected anonymously from all submissions. Of these eight candidates, the jury chooses four candidates, who then receive €2,400 for attending a matchmaking workshop. After the workshop with developers of AM, the final winner is chosen, which will receive a commercial assignment within one of the AM projects.
What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?
The opportunity is open to smaller emerging practices and undiscovered talents and architects could make their names on this project. The winner will gain an assignment in one of our projects (area developments) and we are planning on a publication of all entrants online or offline. We also want to organise an event on the subject after the winner is selected.
Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?
Our aim is to get in touch with new ideas and creative thinkers for the future. It is possible that more participants will be involved in AM future assignments.
Are there any other recent accessibility projects you have been impressed by?
We would refer to AM’s project Bajes Kwartier, an example fthat touches all AM themes. The Dutch government and the municipality of Amsterdam awarded the redevelopment of the Bijlmerbajes (an abandoned prison) in the autumn of 2017 after a selection to the consortium of AM, AT Capital and Cairn. They considered ‘Bajes Kwartier’ the best plan with the most added value for the residents of Amsterdam and its visitors. The consortium, Bajes Kwartier Ontwikkeling C.V., works together with a large number of partners on the district of the future. Approximately 1,350 homes will be developed, both for purchase and for rent, varying from affordable starter homes to more exclusive housing. Thirty per cent will become social rent; a substantial part of which is in the average rent segment. Four prison towers are being demolished, one is being rebuilt and one will be transformed into a ‘green tower’ with a vertical park and urban agriculture. The existing main building of the prison will be the design cluster: a place for artists of international standing. Furthermore, there will be restaurants and a health centre. The new city district will have a strong urban character, but there is also a lot of greenery with gardens, courtyards and water features. Parking goes underground and the neighbourhood itself is car-free. The municipality is developing a secondary school.
AM’s Bajes Kwartier project
Bajes Kwartier is a leader in the application of sustainable energy generation, innovative water systems and the reuse of materials. All buildings in the Bajes Kwartier will become fully energy-neutral. In addition, wind energy comes from roof elements with built-in wind turbines.
The organic waste from the district is converted into electricity. There is heat in the winter and cooling in the summer via heat pumps in the buildings. There is no connection to the natural gas distribution network. For washing machines and dishwashers, each house receives a connection with hot water that has been brought up to temperature with sustainable heat. Bajes Kwartier is being developed with a diversity of committed partners and in a dialogue with the surrounding neighbourhoods, stakeholders and the city. It is these and other partners that will soon make Bajes Kwartier the most exciting district in the city. Sparkling and sustainable. Bajes Kwartier is a development of Bajes Kwartier Ontwikkeling C.V. This is a consortium of AM, AT Capital and Cairn.