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Fortwoning Pampus

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Expansion Plan for Pampus

Beginning in 1948, Van den Broek and Bakema firm of architects begin to design a variety of development plans in answer to the gradual, unavoidable urban sprawl sweeping through the Netherlands. Conceived on a remarkably large scale, their projects express an optimistic belief in the malleability of society.

For Van den Broek and Bakema, these mega-structures are an answer to increasing affluence, the need for mobility and recreation, and the rise in population. The Pampus City project of 1964 proposes constructing a town for 350,000 inhabitants on a series of artificial islands to be built in the IJmeer to the east of Amsterdam. By way of comparison, IJburg (begun in 2000) has been designed to accommodate roughly 18,000 residents. Van den Broek and Bakema design the centre of Pampus City as a linear sequence of buildings with shops, dwellings and offices. The buildings are up to forty stories high. Access to this core is in the form of a central traffic artery which includes a monorail, among other things. The buildings are lower and more open along the periphery, allowing inhabitants and users to enjoy the recreational function of the water and the landscape every day.

By the mid 1960s, enthusiasm for the unbridled potentials of the affluent society had waned. Moreover, architects and the public at large had grown critical of what they typified as the inhuman, huge and anonymous nature of these and other such projects by Van den Broek and Bakema. In the face of such doubts, the architects will realise only a few mega-structures, and in a more watered-down form, more on the scale of an enormous building.

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