Once a peripheral industrial area in the North of Amsterdam, the Klaprozenbuurt has been driven into redevelopment by a rapidly advancing and densifying city. In a complex of private and public interests, BETA helped shape the urban plan in a collaborative and inclusive effort.

2d plan view of project Klaprozenbuurt masterplan by BETA architect Amsterdam

From Plan Zuid (H.P. Berlage) to Borneo Sporenburg (West8), Amsterdam has a rich tradition in formal urban planning. Most of these schemes were the result of the city taking control: consolidating, restructuring and re-issuing land for development. In 2018 this form of top-down planning is becoming too risky for a city faced with dozens of brownfield redevelopment projects within its municipal boundaries.

As a result, the Klaprozenbuurt will be redeveloped through ‘self-realization’, placing responsibility for the redevelopment with the sitting landowners. In this model, the municipality does little more than create a new zoning plan economically attractive enough to entice every plot into redevelopment. Meanwhile the Klaprozenbuurt is surrounded by four residential neighborhoods; their residents articulate and highly organized. Eventually aware that the traditional top-down masterplanning process was disregarding local interests and leading to resistance, the municipality chose to embark on a unique participatory planning process.

In close collaboration with partner offices Space&Matter and landscape architects B+B, BETA devised an inclusive design process geared towards the integration of stakeholders’ interests into the eventual masterplan. Over the course of several months the design took shape through an iterative feedback loop of workshops and presentations. The result is an urban plan embraced by policymakers, landowners and neighbors alike.

The design takes public space as its point of departure, building on existing yet opaque qualities of the area. Here a series of small-scale public spaces, each with a different identity, culminate in a spacious park along the dike. For the urban form, a simple correlation was made between the residents’ desire for a differentiated urban streetscape and the landowners’ preference for smaller, easily phased lots.

Turning fragmented ownership into a design tool, the existing plot boundaries were used as a starting point. As such, even with the uniform distribution of program, it became possible to create a differentiated streetscape. In an effort tot alleviate the landowners’ business cases and stimulate the realization process, public amenities and social housing are concentrated on several lots controlled by the municipality.

The Klaprozenbuurt is to yield a total of 2.000 dwellings by 2035. The zoning plan is pending approval with the first construction works expected to start in 2021.

participants workshop working on a reference wall for project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

short movie showing participants investigating urban form for project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architects Amsterdam

participants workshop working around sketches for project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

  • 1. Land ownership is highly fragmented in the existing situation.
  • 2. The required program for the Klaprozenbuurt requires an FSI (density) of 3,0.
  • 3. Cuts are introduced along several existing plot boundaries.
  • 4. Plots are moved to create the desired urban layout.
  • 5. Collective program is introduced aimed at alleviating the landowners' businesscases.
  • 6. The central courtyards are cleared by moving program to the perimeter of each block.
  • 7. Central courtyards are given collective program.
  • 8. Building massing is optimized for daylight, composition and the experience at eye level.
  • 9. This concept is rolled out over the rest of the Klaprozenbuurt.

aerial view from Northeast showing project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

streetlevel image of the intimate Slijperplein in project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

street level render along Floraweg with shopping street and residential tower in the background project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

streetlevel image of the Klaprozenweg with a square to the left in project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

streetlevel image looking across the Klaprozenweg into the Draaierweg with a square to the left in project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

park image showing dike on the left and residential buildings on the right for project Klaprozenbuurt by BETA architect Amsterdam

Project Details


2018 – 2019


City of Amsterdam


Klaprozenbuurt, Amsterdam


concept design


Space&Matter (architect), B+B (landscape architect)


Auguste van Oppen, Evert Klinkenberg, Ryan Dogan, Tomaso Asso, Marleen de Groot