Nieuw Waterlandplein Podium by Tjep is both a communal space and a stage for the local inhabitants of Nieuw Waterlandplein in Amsterdam-North. The stage has two uses, aesthetic installation during the day and with “a flick of a switch”, a central performance stage flanked by an amphitheatre of surrounding seating. Hidden platforms in the ground elevate to form the central podium.
“We believe that when a podium is not being used it creates an empty, desolate feeling. So the decision to have an alternating function came early in the design process.” says Frank Tjepkema, founder and lead designer of Tjep. “A stage performance is transformation. An experience that changes you. With the Waterlandplein stage this transformation is expressed in the function and form. From function to ornament, and back again.”
The Nieuw Waterlandplein Podium also bridges Amsterdam-North and the older city of Amsterdam. The newer, blocky, North is merged with the more ornamental forms of old Amsterdam. Baroque elements inspired by the Concertgebouw (the old opera house in central Amsterdam) are combined with tribal designs reflecting modern culture to create dynamic flowing shapes for the seating.
A durable polyurethane coating was hand-poured in different colours over each piece to create organic tidal patterns that accentuate the flow outwards from the central podium.
“We had in mind a place that can be used by all residents, from shopkeepers to a local neighbourhood band. A place for the people to enjoy and experience everything a community embodies.”
Title: Nieuw Waterlandplein Podium
City: Amsterdam, in the Amsterdam-North borough
Designers: Frank Tjepkema & Leone Janssen, Tjep.
Date of completion: October 2013
Method of construction: Galvanised steel, polyurethane coating, concrete foundation
Footprint: 400 square metres