A glimpse into Amsterdam’s floating neighbourhood

Space&Matter’s unique residential area on Johan van Hasselt Canal reflects the idea of cohesion of its community and their commitment to a sustainable, circular model.

In the face of climate change and rising sea levels, coastal communities are coming up with innovative adaptation strategies and the Netherlands has quickly become a model in the space.

The project Schoonschip is an example of floating architecture  on Johan van Hasselt Canal in Amsterdam that could turn into the prototype for future urban developments. It is a community-driven circular neighbourhood of 46 dwellings designed by Dutch architecture practice Space&Matterand and is based on circularity and sustainability, values at the core of its community.

The residents themselves follows the circular model, both socially and environmentally. By taking responsibility for their resources consumption and waste mananging, they self-oganising internally, in a radical rethinking of the way cities are organised.

Space&Matterand, Schoonschip floating neighborhood, Amsterdam, 2020. Photo Isabel Nabuurs
Space&Matterand, Schoonschip floating neighborhood, Amsterdam, 2020. Photo Isabel Nabuurs

In line with the community’s vision responsive to the climate crisis, the neighbourhood implements a smart energy plan and sustainable water and waste systems that include solar panels, water treatment technologies and a smart grid for trading energy.

This way, Schoonschip becomes a great example of a how a local design solution can tackle a global issue, at a time when housing on water proves being footloose, reversible and low-impact on nature, especially if combined with smart energy and water-sanitation systems.

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